Things Fertility-Challenged Women Love To Hear, Part One

“Maybe if you stop trying so hard, it will just happen naturally.”

Tired swimmers? You must be trying too hard.

In honor of the title of this blog, I bring you the first installment in a series of things you should never say to women who are trying to conceive a child and having difficulty doing so.

To tell a woman who wants nothing more than a baby of her very own that she must not be getting pregnant because she is “trying too hard”, is the slap-in-the-face equivalent of telling a thirteen-year-old boy that breasts are not fascinating.  It is a completely unbelievable statement that works against the very nature of their being, and is, frankly, rather insulting.  Life for her (him) is all about procreation (boobs), and to tell a woman (pubescent male) that natural conception (boobs again) is eluding her because she is trying too hard (are not as cool as you think)…?

Well now you’ve just crossed into the realms of pure fiction.  That look of shock on her face will soon fade and be replaced by murderous rage.  You should leave the room.  In a hurry.

I will admit that there might be some scientific truth to the “trying too hard” theory.  For instance, when a man has a low sperm count, forcing yourself upon him twice a day for a week before ovulation is probably going to work against you in the long run because by doing so, you’re essentially depleting his whole armory before the battle even begins.

Most OB-GYN’s and urologists agree that regular sex is enough to conceive naturally within a year.  For those of us who are not yielding the results we desire in such a timely manner, sexy-time once every other day for the week preceding, and day or two following ovulation should do the trick without using up all of the baby-batter.

If your problem is not with the batter, but with the oven (as in my case), then I will also admit that the enormous pressure we put on ourselves by trying to get pregnant might cause stress that could manifest itself physically, perhaps delaying conception.

We are women on a mission.  We will do anything we are able, and control any variable we can in order to hone our bodies into lean, mean, baby-making machines.

We diet, because maybe our weight is preventing conception.

We take vitamins, because maybe it will help make our bodies more hospitable for a baby.

We set alarms for the wee hours of the morning, take our temperatures, and check our cervical positions so that we can enter the data into our fertility software and analyze the results like hormonal mad scientists.

We give up caffeine, because we are nutjobs who think that maybe too much coffee is shriveling our eggs and drying up our cervical mucus, when in fact it actually makes us more pleasant to be around, and thus, more apt to get some sweet lovin’ from our poor, unsuspecting husbands who have no idea that all this crazy is going on inside of the woman they thought they married.


Maybe doing all of this would be considered trying too hard for some people.  But then again, some people get pregnant by accident and call it a “surprise blessing”.  If those people had tried a little too hard at using birth control, perhaps they wouldn’t have to change “surprise diapers”.

Okay, so maybe we could relax a little bit.  Maybe we could release the iron grip of control just a tad… But telling us so in your self-righteous tone and looking down on our poor infertile selves from way up on top of your high-horse is perhaps the wrong way to go about relaying the information.  The fact is that it’s just more difficult for some women to get pregnant than others, but that will not dampen our drive to do so.

I respectfully submit that yes, there are things that we do to ourselves in the spirit of trying to conceive that may actually work against us, but I also put before you this little nugget of wisdom: 

There is no such thing as trying too hard.

It’s called determination.  Desire.  The undeniable want to have the childbearing experience that our friends and family members have been able to enjoy, and the God-given right to do whatever we have control over to get to that point, including procuring medical help and drinking fertility-boosting voodoo concoctions ordered from the internet…

…And to do so without unsolicited “advice” on how not to try so hard.

So, tread lightly, well-meaning aunts and coworkers.  Your pitying expression and comforting tone will not lessen the blow you are dealing us by telling us to scale back our baby-making endeavors.  You are only cementing the fact that when we do conceive our little miracle, she will not be named after you.

2 comments on “Things Fertility-Challenged Women Love To Hear, Part One

  1. endoandbeyond
    February 27, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Oh man!! I hear you! This one brought to you courtesy of my mother “there’s a lot more infertility these days now isn’t there? your dad only had to look at me and I was pregnant!” Eek! Well meaning but cringe inducing.


    • Tracy
      February 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      LOL! I love it! Well, not LOVE, exactly, but I empathize. They really do mean well, but UGH. 😉


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