How do you stop obsessively googling on your fertility journey?

Jan 22, 2024

Google can become an addition at the best of times, but when you’re struggling to conceive, it can get a little out of control.  You know it’s not helpful, but you can’t seem to stop yourself.  It interrupts your work-day – you sneak a google session in between client calls or checking your email. And before you know it, you’ve spent an hour researching and just trying to find the answer to your fertility issues. Then at night before bed, you open your google search engine again, and next thing you know, it's midnight and you’re berating yourself for getting sucked into the spiral, and not getting enough sleep. Because you just googled that getting enough sleep helps increase your fertility.

It's such a vicious cycle.

I compare the temptation to google, to a sugar addiction.  Whenever there are chocolates in the fridge, I will eat them. And the more I eat, the more I crave them. But once that box of chocolates has been consumed, my body gets used to not eating them, and I don’t crave them as much.

If you’ve been punishing yourself and feeling a little out of control, please find comfort in the fact that you are not alone.  Nor is there anything wrong with you. There is a very good reason why we feel compelled to research every aspect of our fertility.  Firstly, we want to feel like there is hope for us. Which is why we find ourselves delving into statistics so we can predict our chances, and we search for good news stories.

This journey is also isolating, so we’re searching for connection. We want to know that it’s not just us, so we go onto forums and communities to feel less alone.

And lastly, we want to feel empowered. Infertility and pregnancy loss makes us feel like we’re not in control. So, if we equip ourselves with the right information, it can help us feel like we’re actually doing something, rather than just wasting time or merely rolling the dice.

I want to be clear that there is nothing wrong with searching for answers and educating yourself, or gaining hope or connection. For a lot of us however, we go beyond the realms of self-empowerment, and into obsession territory. 

So how do you know if you’ve crossed the line, and your google habits have become an obsession? Here are a few indications –

  • You are searching the same question over and over again. i.e. how do I increase my fertility, or get pregnant quicker? This usually indicates that this is becoming a habit.
  • When you shut down your google search engine, you feel dirty, guilty, and even worse than when you started. You know it has become an unhealthy time-waster.
  • You can’t focus on anything else throughout your day, and you find yourself being pulled onto the internet constantly. Also, work feels inconvenient, because it is cutting into your googling time.
  • You’re wasting hours each day stuck inside your “research”.
  • You hide the fact that you’re googling so much, and even delete your search history.

At the end of the day however, you will know if it’s become out of hand and is having a negative impact on your life. My motto is – if it’s not helpful, it’s harmful. So, if you haven’t gained anything from it, it’s probably in the latter category.

The good news is that any habit can be broken. So here are some ways to put a few boundaries in place when it comes to your googling.

  1. Put your phone away where you can’t see it. I know, if my phone is within arm’s reach, I cannot resist the temptation to check my emails or social media. It’s an instinctive reflex. But if it’s in another room, I forget about it.

  2. When you feel tempted to google, ask yourself – how am I going to feel afterward? Is this going to make me feel even more confused, guilty over the wasted time, more disheartened and hopeless? And if that answer is yes, remind yourself – google is going to make me feel worse.

  3. Say it out loud. I know this sounds weird, but there’s nothing like saying the thing you’re about to google out loud to help you see if it’s helpful or not. If it’s too embarrassing to say out loud, then that’s your answer.

  4. If you have to search for something in particular i.e. it’s a pointed question, set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes. That way you’ll ensure your research is targeted and you won’t get distracted by the click-bait out there.

  5. Have someone else google things for you. It could be a friend, or your partner. This way they won’t get distracted, and will provide you with the most relevant and helpful information. You get the answer, without getting sucked into that google spiral.

  6. Ask your doctor. I know we’ve grown up with the knowledge that google has the answer. But I can say hand on heart, that google does not know why you’re not getting or staying pregnant. And while your doctor may not have all the answers either, they know YOUR situation better than google.

  7. Replace the habit with something else. It’s hard to break a habit because of the way our brain works i.e. neural pathways are set. And when we’re feeling lost or out of control, our automated response is to do the familiar and take the path most travelled i.e. hop onto google. So instead of going cold turkey, create a new pathway. It could be going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music, or even watching a trashy show on TV.  Make a different choice.

You could even do an experiment and do a detox from google for a day, and see how much better it makes you feel. If you’re a late night googler, you’ll probably get a better night’s sleep, because the blue light from your phone affects your sleep patterns. In addition, when we’re asleep, our mind continually processes information and searches for an answer. So, if you’re researching things that aren’t productive or helpful before you go to sleep, you’ll toss and turn at night, and wake up feeling more exhausted.

Infertility is such a hard thing to navigate your way through. And it’s even harder to do it with a monkey (a google addiction) on your back. We need to fill our brains with the good stuff.

So get honest with yourself, create some healthy boundaries when it comes to your google habits, and start feeling a whole lot better as a result.



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It's no secret that stress can have a negative impact on your fertility.

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