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Managing anxiety while TTC

Anxiety is never fun, but it’s especially hard to handle when TTC seems to be the source of it all.

How to manage anxiety when trying to conceive

It’s normal feel a little anxiety during this time, but too much can impede on your ability to be excited and hopeful about the possibility of pregnancy – which is why you started trying in the first place! Recognizing when it’s time to address and treat your anxiety can help you start feeling better and more in control of your TTC experience.

Common signs of TTC anxiety

While the term “TTC anxiety” isn’t an official medical condition, anxiety around TTC is a very real thing. According to the American Psychological Association, the emotional ups and downs of trying for a baby pose a challenge for many women and their families.

It isn’t always easy to know what anxiety symptoms require further treatment, so it helps to be at least a little familiar with the common signs of anxiety while TTC.

The following symptoms may give you an indication that anxiety might be getting in the way of your TTC effort.
  • Feeling overwhelmed when you see other people getting pregnant
  • Blaming yourself or feeling low self-esteem
  • Relationship problems
  • Sexual dysfunction, loss of interest in sex
  • Isolating yourself from friends or family
  • Excessive worrying or ruminating thoughts
  • Getting overly caught up in the details of TTC
  • Neglecting your own health because your body isn’t ‘cooperating’
  • Having anxiety or panic attacks
If you’re experiencing any of the above on a regular basis, your TTC journey might be causing you anxiety that could affect many different aspects of your life. Learning to manage your anxiety will help you improve your mental and physical health, as well as help you start being able to enjoy your life more while TTC.

Things you can do

The frustration and worry that women feel when TTC are very real. This said, there are healthy ways to manage these troublesome feelings. Here are some things that you can do if you’re feeling like your anxiety is taking over your TTC experience.

  • Make time to do more things that you like: It’s easy to focus on the serious stuff when you’re TTC. Doing things that you enjoy will boost your mood and help you unwind.
  • Learn relaxation techniques: Deep breathing and meditation are just some of the ways you can help your body physically de-stress. These techniques can take only a few minutes, and are clinically proven to help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
  • Focus on other projects: There are probably at least a handful of things that you could put your attention towards. Working on these things might help distract you from the stresses of TTC.
  • Find (and repeat) a fertility mantra: It’s possible that mantras can help you manage difficult emotions. One study, published in the Journal of American Nursing, found that women who repeated a spiritual or meaningful phrase to themselves whenever they were stressed felt that it helped them manage unwanted thoughts and emotions. So if you have a phrase that is particularly comforting to you, try repeating it when you feel overwhelmed.
  • Reach out to your support system: Support systems can’t be overstated in a journey to get pregnant. Talking to your partner, family, or trusted friends about your experiences can ease some of the burden off of your shoulders, and make you feel less like you’re going through these things alone.

Reaching out to a professional

Of course, for many women, treating anxiety is difficult or not possible to do on their own. It might be in your best interest to see a professional, who can help you start one-on-one or group talk therapy. Support groups can be especially helpful and there are usually at least a few local support groups for women who are TTC. Your provider can help refer you to someone whose specializes in this kind of anxiety.

Seeking therapy for anxiety is completely normal, especially if you’re struggling with infertility. And it can equip you with long-term skills to help manage anxiety.

Anxiety while trying to conceive: Final thoughts

TTC-related anxiety doesn’t just impact your TTC efforts – it can affect aspects of everyday life outside your TTC experience. It’s easy to write anxiety off as something that just comes with the TTC territory. But in reality, there are things you can do to decrease your anxiety and have a more enjoyable time TTC. Plus, managing your mental health now will help you go into pregnancy with a better mindset, and will shape you into a parent who has effective coping mechanisms for all different kinds of situations – a valuable skill indeed!

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