Just Relax and You'll Get Pregnant: True or False?

Just Relax and You'll Get Pregnant: True or False?

If you have fertility issues and you’re trying to conceive, you’ve probably heard the advice “Just relax and you’ll get pregnant.” Not only is this advice frustrating, but conflicting research on the link between stress and infertility can be confusing. Yet we’ve all heard about women who got pregnant as soon as they “stopped thinking about it.”

As a fertility expert and mother after infertility, I speak to people every day who are struggling to conceive. I’ve noticed several ways that stress and negative emotions do sometimes contribute to the problem. I’d like to share three ways to reduce or eliminate stress to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy.

1. Become a cheerleader, not a doomsayer
Think about how you talk to yourself about your fertility. Are you always encouraging and supportive, or do you say things to yourself you wouldn’t accept from a friend or relative? Perhaps you tell yourself, “I’ll never get pregnant,” “My body is so stupid for letting me down” or “I don’t deserve to be a parent.” These statements could keep you stuck in the situation you don’t want to be in.

By finding a way to quiet the negative self-talk and switch to positive statements, you could find that:

  • you become your own best friend and cheerleader, supporting yourself every step of the way
  • you feel much more motivated to do all you can to boost your fertility
  • you are able to deal with setbacks and negative comments from others (if anyone dares to make one!)

2. Clear out overwhelming feelings
Have you experienced anxiety, worry, anger, sadness or fear during your fertility journey? It can feel like you’re riding an emotional roller coaster when you react to hearing other people’s pregnancy announcements, seeing yet another negative pregnancy test, or having to listen an inquisitive relative ask “When will you be starting a family?”.

As negative emotions accumulate and pile on top of your thoughts about fertility options, you may end up so overwhelmed that you can no longer think clearly. You may even decide to give up or take a break from trying to conceive. If you gain back control over your negative emotions, you may experience:

  • clearer and more rational thinking about your choices
  • the realization that you have other options and opportunities to boost your fertility
  • the willingness to continue trying to conceive

3. Recognize underlying fears or worries
You know you want to have a baby, but have you ever asked yourself what it would really mean to you? What are your true thoughts, beliefs and concerns when you think of pregnancy, birth and being a parent?

For example, it’s not unusual to be scared of childbirth. Or you may have hidden worries about what kind of parent you will be. Or perhaps you’re fearful about how your relationship, career and body will change if you have a baby. These buried concerns are worth exploring, because they could show themselves as sabotaging behaviors in your everyday life.

For instance, if a fear of childbirth makes you feel subconsciously “unsafe” when you think of pregnancy, you might forget to take your fertility supplements or miss your fertile window for intercourse.

If you seek out and resolve fears or worries about pregnancy, birth and parenthood, here’s what could happen:

  • you end up 100% positively focused on your goal of having a baby
  • you’re able to make decisions and have tests or treatments more quickly, as you have no reason to hold back
  • your body and your mind are in tune and focused on achieving pregnancy

Preparing your mind as well as your body for conception is vital. If you’d like to find out more about how to do this, visit

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