Trying to Get Pregnant? Do’s and Don’ts for Couples
The stress of trying to get pregnant was tough on Joe and Janelle’s marriage. “What it did to us emotionally was horrible,” Janelle says in Making Your Marriage a Fortress by Gary Thomas. “We both felt inadequate, and at various times we ended up blaming each other and fighting depression, and Joe even underwent surgery. It was one thing after another that took a large toll on us and our marriage.”
If you’re trying to have children, it’s wise to be aware of the potential pitfalls to your relationship as well as what to expect if you don’t immediately conceive.
Dr. W. David Hager, a gynecologist who is also a longtime member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council, provides some do’s and don’ts for couples trying to get pregnant. First, try not to worry, he says.
It’s easy to worry, but Hager says stress affects people physically and can alter ovulation and sperm counts.
“Try your very best to relax and not rush the process,” Hager advises. He reminds couples that chances are good they’ll conceive. Even if the couple has problems with infertility, he notes that 50% of couples seeking treatment are eventually able to conceive. However, a percentage of them aren’t able to carry the child to term.
One warning sign of infertility is time: If a reproductive-aged wife is unable to conceive after trying for one year without using contraception, she and her husband should see a doctor. If the woman is over 35, the couple should see a doctor after six months of not being able to conceive.
The one-year timeline is a guide, not a rule, Hager notes. “Maybe the doctors aren’t going to find anything and you just need 18 months,” he says. “Very often I’ve had people come in saying they’ve been unable to conceive, and it’s been 14 or 15 months. I’m able to reassure them, and two months later I get a call that they’re pregnant.”
What are the do’s if you’re trying to conceive? Hager suggests that you:
- Do all you can to increase your chances.
- Trust the process.
- Support each other.
Increase your chances
If you’re trying to get pregnant, how can you increase your chances? Along with not worrying, Hager offers this advice:
“The key is to pray together, because sometimes couples are not on the same page about wanting to conceive,” he says. He also reminds his patients about the biblical examples of Sarah, Anna, and Elizabeth — women who were infertile but were able to conceive by God’s grace.
Make sure you’re having sex around the time of ovulation, when a woman’s ovaries release an egg. Hager says it’s important for women to know the length of their cycles. Some women might have a 28-day menstrual cycle while others have a 35-day cycle. Women ovulate about 14 days before their next period, so it’s helpful to know your own cycle.
Wives can also keep track of their basal body temperature with a basal body thermometer. “Just prior to ovulation the basal body temperature takes a slight dip and then rises a few tenths of a degree on the day of ovulation,” Hager says. Buying an ovulation predictor kit at a pharmacy makes timing intercourse to ovulation even easier.
But don’t overdo the lovemaking. Having sex more than once a day can dilute the sperm count, Hager says.
Consider other factors
Medications might be affecting your ability to conceive.
“Perhaps your husband is taking a blood pressure medicine and it’s diluting or altering his sperm count, or perhaps you’ve been on a medication for hyperthyroidism and that’s affecting your ability to ovulate,” Hager says.
A primary care physician might suggest a different medication or discontinuing the one you’re on while you’re trying to get pregnant.
Trust the process
Most obstetricians and gynecologists are trained in the general management of infertility, Hager says.
Physicians will begin with basic lab tests to evaluate your health, looking for any issue that could affect fertility, such as diabetes, hypertension or heart, liver, or kidney disease. If they find nothing, they’ll evaluate ovarian function, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, and sperm count.
“They’re managing things on a stepwise basis,” Hager says. “The first thing is to be patient. Trust the process and make sure you’re with a reliable physician.”
Testing is very specific and may reveal a disease, Hager says. “Don’t become alarmed if something is detected,” he says. For example, if you learn you have an underactive thyroid, treating that health issue may improve your fertility.
“So, trust the process, take your time, and very often you’re going to be able to conceive,” Hager says. “There are a number of surgical and medical conditions that we can effectively treat to allow for conception to occur.”
If you’re unable to conceive at the end of a period of time, your physician will recommend a reproductive endocrinologist.
Support each other
The key to keeping your relationship strong as you’re trying to get pregnant is to be positive and encouraging, Hager says. Blaming each other for not conceiving only hurts the marriage.
“Be positive, pray together, and encourage each other,” Hager advises. “Go to doctor’s visits together. I always want the husband to come with his wife as we’re working through this process.”
Should the wife go with her husband to the urologist? Not necessarily, Hager says, although he notes that it’s very important to support the husband, especially if he has a low sperm count.
“Most males are very discouraged by that, and they feel like they’re less than a man,” Hager says. “So be encouraging.”
If you and your spouse have been trying to conceive for quite a while, watch out for stress points in your life.
“You want to be careful that the stress level is not overwhelming and that it’s not adversely affecting the relationship,” Hager notes. “You don’t want the relationship and the marriage to break up over this.”
What helped Joe and Janelle
What happened to Janelle and Joe, the couple profiled in Making Marriage a Fortress? While their story is a cautionary one, it also shows that relationships can survive infertility.
Joe and Jannelle remained infertile, and the stress of their situation drove them apart. Eventually, they decided to work on their relationship. Author Gary Thomas writes that they began doing these four things that strengthened their marriage. They:
- Prayed more frequently individually and together.
- Became more open with each other.
- Strengthened their sexual and emotional connection.
- Became better friends.
Hager reminds his patients that more than 50% of the time, couples are able to successfully conceive.
“But if you’re not, always remember that there are thousands of babies out there wanting a home for adoption,” he says. “When you’ve tried everything and gone the route of in vitro fertilization, maybe even a couple of trials of in vitro fertilization, and you’re unsuccessful, it may be that you’re not going to be able to conceive.”
That’s when he asks couples to consider foster care or adoption.
“It is not God’s will that you don’t have children,” Hager tells his patients. “It may not happen, but He has a plan for you. Maybe in your particular situation, that plan is for you to raise children who were birthed by another mother. And there is nothing more beautiful than to see adopted children raised in a devout Christian home.”
5 Ways To Support Your Partner As They Try To Get Pregnant
One life-changing statement—»Let’s have a baby.»
You and your partner have just decided to bring a bundle of joy into the world. It’s one of the most exciting, beautiful, and rewarding experiences. But what many people don’t talk about is the difficulty, struggles, and frustration a couple may face during their journey of conceiving.
Perhaps you’ve seen your partner pour her heart and soul into the process—from tracking her cycle and keeping an eye out for symptoms of ovulation to changing her diet and living a healthier lifestyle. And as of yet, there hasn’t been any glimpse of success.
With each negative pregnancy test, the process becomes more and more emotionally overwhelming. Sex feels as stale as a business transaction, arguments erupt more frequently, and the tension and frustration of both parties is thick in the air. That ticking biological clock doesn’t help, either.
Understandably, this can cause a lot of frustration and disappointment. You may not know what you can do to help. And as much as you want to support your partner, you may feel helpless each time she receives undesirable news.
We understand that navigating this journey can be extremely confusing and exhausting. So we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll explore the practical ways you can support your partner while trying to get pregnant.
How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant?
It’s always best to start by setting realistic expectations. While you’ve probably heard countless stories of couples getting pregnant right off the bat, the fact of the matter is that conceiving can take time.
Based on research findings, only 30% of couples are able to get pregnant after one month of trying. Around 75% of couples get pregnant after 6 months, while 95% of couples are able to conceive after a year of trying. This means that most couples will only get pregnant after 6-12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse .
Hence, it’s completely normal for the journey of conceiving to span across months. The wait can be frustrating. But understanding that the process will take time helps lighten the pressure and tension on your shoulders.
How To Support Your Partner When Trying To Conceive
Support can come in various forms, all of which play a crucial role. Something as simple as being engaged throughout the entire journey can go a long way. But on top of that, you can also carry out some practical steps to enhance your fertility and boost the odds of a successful pregnancy.
During this time, it’s essential to be your partner’s biggest supporter! Here are some ways you can shift from the backseat and proactively ensure she doesn’t end up walking the journey alone.
Stay engaged throughout the process
Being present throughout the entire ride is one of the best ways to support your partner. And there are various ways you can do this.
First off, you can accompany her to doctor visits or checkups, especially if they involve her receiving infertility treatment. Doctor visits are nerve-racking, so having someone she trusts with her may help dampen the anxiety and uneasiness she experiences. During the visit, be proactive and ask questions that help clarify any doubts you may face as a couple.
When the switch flips and both of you decide to have a baby, you may also notice your partner making certain changes. She may be learning how to track her cycle, attempting to lose weight, or getting into the groove of eating healthy.
Whatever it is, you can encourage her and show appreciation for the efforts she makes. For instance, if she’s decided to start eating healthier, you can help with meal prepping. Or better still, you can hop onto the bandwagon and join her!
Additionally, you can try to learn more about your partner’s cycle. After all, having more hands on deck may make the cycle-tracking process less stressful for her. Of course, there are devices and apps out there that make it a breeze, such as the inne minilab.
This device detects hormone levels through simple and painless saliva tests and performs all the heavy-lifting to paint out the user’s unique cycle.
Ultimately, the inne minilab helps women pinpoint their fertile period accurately and learn more about their own cycle.
Seek a healthcare professional’s advice
If you and your partner have not conceived after trying for a long time, seeking a healthcare professional’s advice is the best route to take. It should never, in any way, become a blame game, where one partner heaves the responsibility completely onto the other. It’s understandable to feel anxious or fearful, but mutual support between you and your partner will empower both parties to seek a doctor’s advice when necessary.
Around 40-50% of infertility cases are due to male infertility, which may result from factors such as low sperm motility or low sperm concentration . Hence, it may be worthwhile getting an examination and semen analysis done by a healthcare professional. This can bring to light any issues affecting your fertility and allow you to get any necessary treatment.
Male infertility treatment may include male fertility medications, hormone treatments, or corrective surgical procedures. Sometimes, assistive reproductive therapy (ART) is recommended to overcome issues with sperm quality, which your partner will undergo .
In any case, it’s always best to have a proper discussion with your partner. Both parties should be well-informed of the risks and benefits of the recommended therapy before a decision is made.
Finally, you may also wish to seek the advice of your healthcare provider to discuss the use of male fertility supplements.
Keep yourself healthy
Research has proven repeatedly that certain lifestyle factors can affect the quality of a man’s sperm and hence, their fertility . These factors include cigarette smoking, psychological stress, obesity, caffeine intake, and dietary habits .
One question you may have is whether or not alcohol would affect the quality of your sperm and your chances of getting pregnant. Well, studies have also found some association between habitual heavy drinking and dampened sperm quality .
Drawing from all these, you may now realise that getting pregnant isn’t only your partner’s responsibility, but yours as well. Simple lifestyle modifications and the adoption of healthier habits may help boost your odds of conceiving. These changes may include quitting smoking, practising a healthy diet, or hitting the gym to lose excess weight.
Don’t ignore or neglect your emotions
The journey of conceiving can be challenging to walk out, even more so if infertility is part of it. Hence, it’s perfectly understandable for you to crave support and comfort as well.
Research has shown that men are less likely to seek help for issues related to mental health . But the fact of the matter is that emotional support can make all the difference. In such circumstances, you may wish to seek professional help from a therapist or health professional to keep your mental well-being in check.
Other than that, you may also wish to have an honest discussion with your partner about this. And while men are less likely than women to open up about the grief they feel, this can sometimes lead to negative outcomes. Though you’re trying to protect your partner, suppressing or concealing your grief may leave her feeling even more alone and isolated.
Don’t let babymaking overshadow everything else
Baby or not, your relationship should always take precedence. The journey of getting pregnant can put a strain on your relationship, especially if you are navigating infertility as a couple.
It is perfectly okay to have lengthy discussions about getting pregnant and preparing for the baby. However, making a baby shouldn’t be the only thing that sparks conversations in your relationship. Some couples may get too caught up with the results, and sex eventually feels like a chore. Though striking a balance may take time and practise, it is also essential to make room for other matters—and for each other, too.
You could go on dates, have spontaneous trips, or exchange romantic gestures. Doing so helps keep the excitement alive and fosters more love, trust, and appreciation between both parties. These gestures and acts also remind her that she is well-loved and appreciated, whether or not infertility is part of her journey.
When Should I Seek Help?
It is always best to seek the advice of a pregnancy specialist or fertility expert if you and your partner are unable to conceive after a year or more of unprotected and regular sex.
Doing so allows your healthcare professional to perform examinations, detect the possible cause, and make treatment recommendations.
Final Takeaway: Your Support Matters
Getting pregnant can take time, and hence, the process may become emotionally draining. Throughout the entire journey, try to foster healthy discussions with your partner, respect her feelings and decisions, and open up a safe space for her to talk about her feelings. Your words of encouragement and practical acts of support can make a significant difference in helping your partner cope during difficult times.
The experience can be frustrating and exhausting for both parties, so keeping a close eye on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being is also crucial. If things seem to be taking a downfall, it’s perfectly okay to reach out for professional help and advice.
One solution to make cycle tracking easier and less stressful for your partner is the inne minilab. This science-backed tool helps women pinpoint their ovulation date and fertile period. Your partner will love the gift, and she can try it risk-free. We’d be honoured to support you throughout your journey.
1. Taylor A. ABC of subfertility: extent of the problem. BMJ. 2003;327(7412):434-436. doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7412.434
2. Kumar N, Singh AK. Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: A review of literature. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2015;8(4):191-196. doi:10.4103/0974-1208.170370
3. Leslie SW, Siref LE, Soon-Sutton TL, Khan MAB. Male Infertility. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; February 14, 2022.
4. Balawender K, Orkisz S. The impact of selected modifiable lifestyle factors on male fertility in the modern world. Cent European J Urol. 2020;73(4):563-568. doi:10.5173/ceju.2020.1975
5. Durairajanayagam D. Lifestyle causes of male infertility. Arab J Urol. 2018;16(1):10-20. Published 2018 Feb 13. doi:10.1016/j.aju.2017.12.004
6. Jensen TK, Gottschau M, Madsen JO, et al. Habitual alcohol consumption associated with reduced semen quality and changes in reproductive hormones; a cross-sectional study among 1221 young Danish men. BMJ Open. 2014;4(9):e005462. Published 2014 Oct 2. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005462
7. Sagar-Ouriaghli I, Godfrey E, Bridge L, Meade L, Brown JSL. Improving Mental Health Service Utilization Among Men: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of Behavior Change Techniques Within Interventions Targeting Help-Seeking. Am J Mens Health. 2019;13(3):1557988319857009. doi:10.1177/1557988319857009
Chinese couples tried to conceive a child by having anal sex
A young couple from the Chinese province of Guizhou have been desperately trying to conceive for four years, while the girl never managed to get pregnant. The main mistake of the spouses was that all this time they had anal sex.
Gynecologist Liu Hongmei told reporters about a funny case from his own practice, writes the British tabloid Metro.
One day a 24-year-old girl came to see him, who had not been able to get pregnant for four years, although she had rich sexual experience. The gynecologist suspected something was wrong when a Chinese woman complained of pain during intercourse.
The specialist suggested that the problem lies in diseases of the reproductive system and suggested that the patient undergo an examination, during which it turned out that the Chinese woman was still a virgin.
It turned out that the couple had been practicing anal sex all these years, having very vague ideas about where babies come from. As a result, the doctor gave the couple several verbal «instructions» and also presented a guide to the rules of maintaining a healthy sexual life.
The expert’s advice worked. Two months later, the girl became pregnant, and in gratitude for the assistance provided, she sent the doctor a hundred eggs and a live chicken.
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More than tobacco smoke: scientists have found that gas stoves emit benzene, which can cause cancer Some men suffer from paranoia, always fearing that any woman only dreams of getting pregnant from them and marrying them. But such women, unfortunately, really exist, casting a shadow on the rest, most of the fair sex, with their behavior — on those for whom it is unacceptable to look for answers on forums in the topics “How to get pregnant secretly if a man is against it.” What pushes treacherous ladies to such actions and how they can solve their problems without deception — in the SHE material.
“Get pregnant if he is against it” — the dominance of topics with such a title on the forums scares and makes you think seriously. A lot of women ask for advice on how to trick their man in order to give birth to a child against his will. Most often in such topics, oddly enough, the husband appears. Such a problem, when people get married, but the husband is afraid to take responsibility and have children, does exist, psychologists confirm. A woman in this situation feels like a trap: it seems that they gave her an oath of allegiance, but they do not allow her to realize herself as a mother.
“I know that many will judge me… I am married, I am 25 years old, my husband is 30. Everything is fine, we love each other very much, but we have disagreements in terms of children: I dream about them, but he wants to wait.
— an anonymous user writes on a site with the slogan «Be a happy mother.»
Judging by the appeals to psychologists, this is the second most popular reason that pushes women to desire to become pregnant against the will of a man. “The couple is dating but not getting married. That is, pregnancy as an incentive for marriage is the most common reason, — said sexologist Maxim Zagoruiko, — «to take a lover away from his wife» and «the husband does not want children «yet» — these two reasons share the second place. And in the last place — to give birth «for yourself»».
The fantasies of those who advise specific methods of deception are sometimes amazed: condoms are offered to be pierced, baked in a microwave, semen extracted from a condom, or simply not to let a man “come out” by clinging to him, in addition, they advise cheating with pills and lie about «safe days». All this is absolutely terrible. But in addition to the treachery of these women, you are amazed at the naivety of men. After all, there are also a lot of stories on the forums about how everything worked out in the best way after the deception.
“I think that the main reasons are the gullibility and irresponsibility of men. For example, a man does not like sex in a condom, so he does not use condoms. He thinks: “Maybe it will somehow blow through” or “She knows that I don’t want children, so she will make sure that we don’t fly in,” says Maxim Zagoruiko. In his opinion, a kind of “megalomania” that occurs in some men can play a role: “She simply cannot have desires that are different from mine. She wants what I want” or “Maybe she wants something else, but she will still do as I said.”
We can, perhaps, single out two types of men: those who are ready to put on almost two condoms and will never forget about it even when drunk, and those who believe that contraception is a woman’s area of responsibility. However, it is important to understand that adults are 50/50 responsible for this. , and because of the child, he unconsciously (or consciously) feels coercion — this does not add reliability to the relationship, Zagoruiko explains.
According to the expert, marriages entered into on a whim are among the most short-lived. A man locked in a cage seeks to escape from it. A child in such a family unconsciously bears a heavy burden: his parents did not expect him, they do not need him himself, he is just a means for the mother to bind his father to herself, it is because of him that the parents ended up together, it is because of him that they are unhappy. The most «harmless», in the opinion of Zagoruiko, is a fraudulent pregnancy if a woman wants to give birth to a child for herself. But in this case, it is better to honestly agree with the father of the child.
It is the man’s own fault that he «forces» such actions; deceivers are usually justified. There are several reasons why a man refuses to have a child, but instead of a lie, in each case, an honest way to solve the problem is possible, says Olga Magdenko, candidate of psychological sciences, teacher at NSU, psychologist at the Avicenna medical center.
The man is not psychologically ready to take responsibility, he is afraid that he will not be able to cope with the role of a father. In this case, you need to understand that there are no ideal parents, so the bar that your man sets for himself cannot be achieved. To realize that the birth of a child is not so scary, communication with those friends who took place in the role of a father and enjoy communicating with their own children will help.
The man is not ready to take financial responsibility for you and the child. In this case, he also sets the bar high for himself. But you need to understand that you can wait for the desired prosperity until old age and never wait. However, the child first of all needs unconditional love, care and understanding, and not expensive things and toys. Material wealth will not make us absolutely happy and therefore can wait, but the birth of a child should not be postponed, because time is irretrievably running out, and this is the most valuable thing in our life.
The man does not trust you and is not sure about his feelings. In this case, it is important to resolve the causes of quarrels and conflicts between you. And if you are still not in his future plans, then you should not give birth to a child to keep this man around, this will not stop him and will not save the situation. There’s a good chance he’ll leave anyway.
He has a negative fatherhood experience in a previous marriage. And he does not want his wife to become irritable, fat and tired from a sexual girlfriend. It is important to explain to a man how dear he is to you and that his past experience has nothing to do with you: you are not going to give up on yourself, gain 30 kilograms and forget about your beloved man. Take care of yourself, talk to your husband about your feelings and, having become pregnant, keep your previous promises.
The man thinks that you yourself are psychologically unprepared to become a mother. Here the woman is assigned an insignificant role, she, according to the man, is not capable of making such a serious decision and it is up to the will of the man, as he decides, it will be so.