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When you're trying to have a baby, it's vital to pay attention to your mental health. Stress can negatively affect your fertility, so it's important to find ways to relax and manage your stress levels.

Growing your family can be one of the most overwhelming experiences in your life— even for those who find it easy to conceive. But for the nearly one in ten women who struggles to conceive or stay pregnant, the path to parenthood can feel like a difficult road. 

No matter where you are in your fertility journey, feeling stressed and anxious is common. People often talk about the strong connection between infertility and depression. But, this is more than more than something people talk about — research has shown that a lot of people who are receiving treatment for infertility can also show signs of depression.

The Mental Health America theme for this year's Mental Health Month is "Back To Basics". Now that we are coming out of the pandemic, it is important to focus on things like recognizing warning signs, maintaining mental wellness and seeking help. According to the MHA, addressing mental health symptoms early is very important for overall health. This is especially true if you are trying to conceive. Take care of yourself by remembering these three things:

You Are Not Alone

In our mega-connected world, struggling to conceive can feel more isolating than ever. Wading through pregnancy announcements, baby photos, and ads on social media can leave even the most hopeful among us feeling lost. But it is important to remember that the internet can also be a powerful tool to help connect us with others and remind us that we are not alone. 

Instead of letting social media be a source of loneliness, use it as an opportunity to connect with others experiencing similar challenges. Follow the pages of those who are open and honest about their struggles or consider joining an online-support group of women. From posting pregnancy tests to analyzing temperature charts and ovulation strips, online fertility groups can offer incredible levels of peer-to-peer compassion, understanding, and education. You may even find yourself wanting to share with others.

You Have Options

Navigating the world of fertility treatments can be overwhelming. While for some women the key to overcoming fertility challenges is simply a change of diet or the help of a basic charting app, for others it can take years of time and expensive treatments. Trying to conceive looks different for every woman, and sometimes that means pausing to decide which path is the best for you. 

Take the opportunity to learn more about your own body. Whether you are just starting your journey or have been trying for years, consider utilizing one of the many femtech tools or fertility monitors on the market. OvuSense was designed particularly to help manage your stress when trying to conceive. It does this by monitoring your cycles on a continuous basis. Place the OvuCore sensor in your vagina each night then forget about it, take it out in the morning and download to the OvuSense App, and everything else is taken care of - no messy strips or remembering to take your temperature at exactly the same time each morning when you wake up. The feedback the App provides each morning helps reassure you and empower you with the knowledge that you are ovulating, and when to try and conceive naturally. Or, if you do have an issue it gives you the information you need to talk to your doctor with confidence. Six out of every seven customers that use OvuSense say that it makes them feel more in control of their fertility. Click here to find out more about user experiences with OvuSense.

Focus On YOU

Having friends, family, and colleagues constantly asking whether you are trying or when you’re going to get pregnant can be exhausting. Worse, is receiving one of the most frustrating pieces of advice to hear — “just relax.” Although there is some truth to this well-worn cliché, getting rid of stress is not as easy as many make it sound. 

Instead of letting comments from others upset you, take them with a grain of salt and focus on you. Self care really is critical, but only you know what is best for your mental and physical health. Whether that means slowing down, prioritizing sleep, building a network of people who understand and support you, or seeking professional help, what is ultimately the most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to not be okay.

If you're in the US:

To find a support group near you, visit RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association‘s website. To get more help visit the MMA website.

If you're in the UK:

Fertility Network UK have a really useful support group page. You can learn more about the signs and symptoms of anxiety or depression, and when to seek help here

Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.