Conception is oftentimes a process. For my wife and I, it took quite a while before we conceived and, while trying to get pregnant, there were times it felt more like work than a pleasurable activity.

For many men, conceiving a child seems easy — you show up, make love to your wife and go on about your day. But when sex occurs on a schedule and for a new, specific and life-changing purpose, it takes on a new meaning. And when conception doesn't happen right away, it can lead to anxiety and performance issues.

Here are a few thoughts on handling the stress when your your wife doesn't conceive immediately, how you both can cope, and some advice on dealing with any concerns you might have about getting pregnant.

1. Talk to your wife.

She's your partner and she's the only other person on the planet dealing with the same thing you are, so open up to her. Tell her how you're feeling about the difficulty conceiving and how it's affecting you. That may help ease the burden on her. Communicating openly will relieve some of the tension. Plus, better communication in a marriage often leads to more intimacy, so it's a win-win.

2. Remind and encourage.

Difficulty conceiving can be extra challenging for your wife if all her friends are having babies and becoming pregnant with seeming effortlessness. Remind her how important this is for you and how much you're willing to work with her to make it happen. Flowers, a small gift, or a handwritten note can be powerful reminders for her about how invested you are in the process. Going with her to her doctor appointments will also help put her at ease.

3. Ask questions.

You have a very important role to play in the process so get educated. If you're wondering why your wife is taking her temperature every morning and plotting it on a spreadsheet like a mad scientist, ask her about it. If you're uncomfortable doing that, ask your doctor or someone else who is knowledgeable.

4. Relax.

This is much easier said than done, but stress, as well as the pressure of performing on command when your wife is ovulating, can be overwhelming. When there is a constant drumbeat demanding that you have sex, it can be a turn-off. Remember that this is supposed to be fun! Take some deep breaths, find a happy place and go to it.

5. Take a break.

If the process of having a baby feels like going to work, then maybe it's time to take a couple of days or weeks off. Stress can inhibit conception. If you take a breather you can focus on your wife, reconnect over positive, shared memories and remember again why it is that you want to have a family together. In a short time you can start trying again and, hopefully, some of the stress will be alleviated.

6. Make it special.

Take a conception vacation. Try making love in a new room in the house. Try a new position. There are a myriad of ways to change things up to enliven the process.

7. Talk to a pro.

If you or your wife are having serious difficulty dealing with a lack of conception, make an appointment to speak with a counselor. Maybe a different voice will help ease your anxiety and help clear your mind.

8. Get tested.

If the problems persist, it might be time for you to see a medical doctor and get checked out. Your physician might want to do some tests to make sure that everything is working properly.

9. Look forward to a happy ending.

There is a goal in sight — bringing a child into the world and creating a family with the woman you love. Keep that thought in the forefront of your mind during the conception process. That should keep you and your wife focused on the greater goal.


Disclaimer: We are not physicians. Please consult your doctor for concerns you may have when trying to get pregnant