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Stress and Infertility

Brenda Albano

July 2, 2019

There is a correlation between stress and infertility.  The very act of trying to conceive can bring on more stress than couples can imagine, especially if it’s taking months or years.

Month after month of negative results can bring on added stress, and this isn’t healthy for the reproductive cycle. Stress actually hinders ovulation, and puts the delicate reproductive hormones out of balance. This is because our bodies react to stress the same way, be it “good” stress (like trying to conceive is considered “good”or “bad”stress (like worrying about a meeting at work, or paying bills or a sick loved one). The body doesn’t differentiate between the two and simply reacts the same. To the body anything stressful requires more energy to eliminate the stress. So instinctively the body will shut down any unnecessary functions to get through the period of stress. It’s a natural way of dealing with stress.

This leaves us with the task of becoming as stress free as possible. Some stress is unavoidable, so in this case we need to learn to deal with whatever is causing the stress without it getting the best of us. If you are facing situations that are causing a lot of stress, try to learn to deal with the situation without it affecting your moods. Even if you have to read books or seek counseling to keep the stress at bay, it’s worth it. Breathing exercises, visualizing, praying, yoga and positive affirmations are ways of beating stressful situations. With any situation in life, our attitude is 100% of how we react to it. Take a good positive attitude with any stressful situation, keep your cool, and stress will be much less.

Let’s talk about the stress of trying to conceive. When a couple first thinks about trying to conceive, there may be a little trepidation, but for most, it’s a task that is looked forward to. We expect to conceive within a month or two of trying. But when it doesn’t happen, that’s when worry sets in, and when the stress of trying to conceive hits us. It’s this very stress that may be preventing the very thing we are trying to achieve.

Stress causes the hormone “cortisol” to increase. When our cortisol levels are high, it hinders the reproductive hormones. In fact when we have high levels of cortisol, we have weaker immune systems and tend to become ill easier. In order to keep the cortisol levels at a normal balance, we must do what we can to eliminate stress in our lives. That includes the stress of trying to conceive.

There are ways of making the process stress-free. First is your mind-set attitude. If you approach the act of trying to conceive filled with worry and stress, your body will react accordingly and the chances of conceiving will be diminished. Keep your attitude in check by thinking only positive thoughts (pun intended). Optimism has the opposite effect on the body as stress. It’s healing and helpful to our immune systems and to the reproductive cycle as well.

Meditate on your body. Picture your body doing exactly what it’s made to do, conceive a baby. Focus on ovulation occurring effortlessly and on time. Visualize a healthy egg and sperm meeting and see the fertilized egg implant into the perfect spot in your uterus. Do this just a few minutes each day, telling yourself that you are healthy, that your body becomes pregnant and carries a healthy baby to term.

Learn yoga or a similar art. This helps to focus on the inner you while exercising the physical. Exercise! Make a goal to join a gym, or start walking or swimming. Warning though, do this in moderation. Excessive exercising will cause the fertility in women to decrease. Moderate exercising is good for the body as well as the mind.

Approach “baby making sessions” with a playful and relaxed attitude. Men can feel the stress of trying to conceive as much as women. It is a myth that men are always ready, willing and able. If you are stressed and going at intercourse with the sole purpose of procreation, your man will sense it. Keep your attitude towards your sexual relationship playful and even spontaneous. It will greatly help in both the areas of conceiving and in keeping the spark alive between you and your partner.

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