Trying to conceive can be an exciting time but when the days roll into months or years, the journey can also be stressful and emotionally taxing. Ovulation tracking, timed intercourse,and negative pregnancy tests all take their toll. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted, it might be time to consider a break from actively trying to conceive (TTC).

The decision to pause your journey to a baby can be challenging to take, especially if you and your partner are not on the same page. As with every aspect of the TTC journey, communication is key. Agreeing on a break can be beneficial for both your physical and mental well-being, and can potentially up your chances of success.

The benefits of taking a break from TTC

When you’ve been TTC for a while, it may feel as if your entire life centers on getting pregnant, with all plans revolving around something that is totally out of your control. Taking some time away can be beneficial in that it allows you to rediscover what you had been missing out on, and helps you prioritize yourself and your relationship. Taking a break aids:

  • Stress reduction: trying to conceive and fertility treatment are stressful. Multiple studies have shown a connection between stress and infertility. Stress hormones can negatively impact sperm quality and ovulation, creating a self-fulfilling cycle.
  • Relationship rejuvenation: Timing intercourse and the constant focus on conceiving can transform sex into a chore. A break allows you to reconnect as a couple and rediscover the joy of physical intimacy.
  • Self-care: trying to conceive often puts your own needs on hold, be it from working more to be able to afford treatment or planning your life around appointments and medications. A break allows you both to focus on your health and well-being, whether it’s through exercise, hobbies, or a vacation.
  • Reframing expectations: a break can give you the mental clarity to reassess your timeline, plans, and your own meaning of family.

Communicating as a Couple

As we’ve said earlier, communication is key at every stage of the fertility journey, and especially when it comes to taking a break:

  • Acknowledge the stress: be open about the pressure you’re feeling and how it’s affecting you.
  • Focus on the benefits: explain the positive aspects of a break, such as reduced stress, and rediscovering yourselves as a couple.
  • Discuss a timeframe: You might decide on a specific length of time for the break, or simply agree to re-evaluate in the future.

Taking – and experiencing – a break

It’s advisable to rope in your doctor when considering a pause from TTC. Ask them if taking a break would impact your chances negatively. If time is an issue, ask if a shorter break would be more doable. Ultimately, it’s your and your partner’s decision to make.

Once you do decide to stop trying for a while, it’s time to make the most of it! Take pressure off sex and reconnect with your partner without the focus on conception. Focus on a healthy lifestyle: a balanced diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep can do wonders for your overall health and mood. Schedule fun activities or vacations that you will both enjoy.

If you find that switching into break-mode is easier said than done, consider professional help. Talking to a fertility therapist can provide you with the support you need. Sharing your experiences with online and in-person support groups can also be beneficial.

Key Takeaway

Taking a break is not a final decision to stop treatment – that comes with its own considerations. A break is just a pause on your journey and an opportunity to rediscover yourself individually and as a couple. By prioritizing your mental and physical health, you can restart the journey with a renewed sense of energy and excitement.

Once you resume your journey, you can monitor changes in your sperm health at home with the YO Home Sperm Test. The test measures Motile Sperm Concentration, a YO score and live video that you can choose to share with your doctor. Learn more here.