Stress, Anxiety, And Infertility
Many people know that stress, anxiety, or other uneasy emotions can affect performance in the bedroom. But did you also know that these types of feelings could affect your fertility? Men and women are more stressed than ever – with jobs, family obligations, money problems, and even trying to get pregnant.
Stress and anxiety isn’t good for your body, period. It can affect your weight, sleep patterns, and can even cause hair loss. Though exact links between stress and infertility are unknown, experts agree that stress boosts levels of certain hormones, such as catecholamines and cortisol, which can inhibit the release of gonadotropin releasing hormone, which is responsible for the release of sex hormones. This can suppress ovulation, reduce sperm count, and lower libido in men and women.
Stress is said to play a role in up to 30% of all infertility problems. In research published in the journal Human Reproduction, researches found that pregnancy is more likely to occur when a couple is happy and relaxed than when they reported feeling tense or anxious.
Particularly if a couple has been trying to conceive for several months or longer, trying to get pregnant can alone cause stress. Fertility tests and treatments can also be nerve-wracking and leave a couple with a lot of ‘unknowns.’ Though it’s unclear what exactly links stress and infertility, doctors do agree that reducing stress levels can help a couple achieve conception.
How To Manage Fertility Related Stress
Stress reduction techniques can be highly unique for different people, but here are a few ways some couples found success in reducing stress:
- Turn off the baby talk. Acting like you are dating again can help many couples unwind. Go out to dinner or see a movie. Focusing too much on fertility talk can cause anxiety and make the situation worse.
- Utilize relaxation techniques. Massages, yoga, acupuncture, and meditating are just a few ways to relax the body and the mind – resulting in a slower heart rate and lower blood pressure.
- Stay active. Whether through exercise or hobbies, continue focusing on activities you enjoy, releasing endorphins and enhancing your mood.
- Consider counseling or group support. This can be a great way to let out feelings of sadness and frustration. Talking to someone who has been through fertility problems can be extremely helpful.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “when you stop trying, it will happen.” Though that’s not particularly comforting for couples dealing with fertility issues, it holds some truth. Obviously, don’t stop having intercourse, but if you stop focusing on fertility and instead focus on yourself and your partners stress and anxiety, you may find it’s easier to get pregnant.