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The Impacts of Stress on Your Fertility

A color change in the pregnancy kit’s strip is something most women hope for at some point in their lives. However, time and again many have taken the test in hope of good news but they end up disappointed.

For some, conceiving is easy but for others, it does not happen so easily. Actually, some women will do everything right and still not conceive while others will not try as hard yet they’ll conceive easily.

Understanding your body’s response to stress can help you better get to know your reproductive cycle. By understanding, tracking, and mitigating your stress points you may find it easier to listen to your body’s natural responses and make it easier for you to focus on your own individual fertility.

Know that everyone is different and if you continue having trouble getting pregnant speak to your doctor or healthcare physician. Use this guide to help you understand and recognize stress:

Recognizing Your Stress Points

Stress comes to everyone at some point in their lives. Therefore, if you are feeling drained and anxious about a transition, then it may not affect your fertility in any way.

However, if the stress stays with you for longer, more so when dealing with issues such as unemployment of the death of a loved one your fertility may be affected a great deal.

At some point, you will feel frustrated and well-intentioned close friends and family will ask you to decompress, relax, it will happen in due time. Wearing a fake grin, you say “thanks” while thinking how unsolicited the advice is and wondering what the mind has to do with fertility.

However, these people may be right. New studies have suggested that stress can prevent you from getting pregnant. In a recent study, women whose saliva samples were found to have a high amount of alpha-amylase (an enzyme that shows one is stressed), took a long time to get pregnant by 29% than those women whose alpha-amylase levels were lower.

Also while stressed, the last thing on a woman’s mind is sex; therefore, it happens less often. A stressed woman is also likely to engage in behaviors that increase their odds of not getting pregnant such as heavy drinking and smoking.

The sooner you can recognize your stress points, the easier it will be for your body to recover after giving birth as well. Stress can also negatively impact your body post-pregnancy and can affect breast milk production, but there are remedies for that as well.

After giving birth you can invest in a breast pump that will help you get through a stressful time by producing enough milk for your baby’s health too.

How to Deal with Stress

Infertility specialists are of the opinion that when a woman is stressed, cortisol (the stress hormone) is released into the body and in turn disrupts the signaling between the mind and the ovaries, which can inhibit ovulation.”

Women who are struggling to get pregnant will also hardly initiate the discussion to seek fertility treatment. According to Kristin L. Rooney and Dr. Alice Domar’s research on the Relationship between stress and infertility, “researchers have also shown that despite a good prognosis and having the finances available to pay for fertility treatment, discontinuation is most often due to psychological reasons.”

What do you do about it?

Talk therapy

Dr. Domar who started a program that helps people achieve mind/body health and wellness aims at helping women through talk therapy avoid feelings of hopelessness, and self-blame when dealing with infertility.

Talk therapy will help you deal with negative emotions and thoughts that make you think you will never get pregnant no matter how hard you try.

Exercise

Working out will go a long way in helping you lower stress which will, in turn, boost your chances of conception.

But, the physical activity you engage in should not be too vigorous, moderate workout sessions of 1 to 5 hours weekly are enough. Consider, moderate exercise such as walking, swimming, etc.

Adopt a healthy diet

Stress can make sugary and processed foods look so appealing to you. While trying to conceive watch your diet. Be sure to avoid foods that are high in fat and processed.

Instead eat a balanced diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meat, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.

Watch your calories

When stressed it is possible for you to seek comfort from food. This could make you end up being obese or overweight which greatly reduces your odds of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. Studies

Get yourself a journal

Writing down your emotional turmoil can help you deal with the stress you may be feeling. Journaling about your concerns is one great way of off-loading emotions and thoughts that you may not want to share with your partner, family or friends.

When you are done venting out on paper, you can choose to either keep the journal or shred the paper you wrote on (an act that could actually help you feel much better).

Engage in relaxation activities

One sure way of achieving deep relaxation is bringing in to your schedule a few minutes every day of trying to help your body get into a state of peace and calm.

You can do this by engaging in meditation, yoga or any other activity that you really enjoy doing. Also, you could take a vacation to a dream destination.

However, if your budget does not allow this, consider taking yourself to a mental-vacation for example, you could close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place that you have always wanted to visit.

While at it, be sure to experience and enjoy the senses that come with the imagined surroundings.

Join a support group

Infertility is a silent struggle that needs you to have someone who can understand and empathize with your current struggle.

Talking to fellow women who share the same experiences can work as a door through which you can let out your feelings of frustration, hopelessness, sadness, self-blame, and confusion.

If joining a group is not something you would want to do, then you should consider getting individual counseling from a professional.

Author Bio:

Natalie Michelle

Hello, my name is Natalie and I am the owner of MaternityatHome. In the day I am a General Physician and at night I am a devout mother of two. I am always busy but I do love sharing all my knowledge and experience with other mothers or mothers-to-be out there!

This article is for informational/educational purposes only. Healthtian does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, read more.

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