In today's modern, fast paced society, it is easy for people to become stressed. In fact, one would almost think that being stressed is the "in" thing, and if you aren't stressed it must mean there is something wrong with you! Realistically however, stress is not a good thing for our bodies in general, and has a very real impact on your fertility.
Can Stress Have an Effect on Your Fertility?
Believe it or not, our bodies are equipped to prevent conception from occurring during times of extreme stress. The presence of adrenalin, the hormone that is released by our bodies during stressful times, signals to our body that conditions are not ideal for conception. Adrenaline inhibits us from utilizing the hormone progesterone, which is essential for fertility. It also causes the pituitary gland to release higher levels of prolactin, which also causes infertility to occur.
How Stress Impacts Fertility
How Stress Impacts Fertility
CB060658Recent research tells us that stress boosts levels of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, catecholamines and cortisol, which can inhibit the release of the body's main hormone, GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), which is responsible for the release of sex hormones. Subsequently this may suppress ovulation in women, reduce sperm count in men and lower libido in both women and men.
A general example of the importance of GnRH in fertility is this: Manufactured by the hypothalamus, GnRH is responsible for signaling the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland, which then stimulates the gonads (ovaries in women, testes in men) to release sex hormones (estrogens and androgens). The levels of sex hormones rise and once a certain level is achieved, become part of a negative feedback loop (negative feedback inhibition) which signals the suppression of LH.
Any disruption to GnRH may cause insufficient release of hormones from the pituitary gland which can cause their target organs to no longer work as they once did and in extreme cases, atrophy over time and no longer function.
Chronic stress may cause lack of libido as well as a decrease in general fertility. This has become such a common issue that they have created a name for it: Stress Induced Reproductive Dysfunction.
These facts are very important to consider if you have been trying to conceive with no results. It also shows that stress relief should be a part of every couples conception plan even if they are going
Trying to carry a pregnancy to term during stressful times places the fetus at risk. The body knows this, which is why it creates an environment that is basically inhospitable to conception. Generally, a stressed person is an unhealthy person. People living with a high stress level are typically overly tired and filled with nervous tension which may cause them to choose poor dietary and lifestyle habits.
Reducing Stress for Fertility
In you are having difficulty conceiving, stress may very well be a factor. If you have had fertility tests performed and have found that there is no medical reason for your infertility, it is time to evaluate your life and determine how much stress you have. Of course, you may not even have need for an evaluation. You may know you are stressed. In that case, it is time to start defeating that stress to help your fertility.
How to Reduce the Effect of Stress on Your Fertility
Serenity1. Reduce the stress in your life. This of course if obvious, as well as easier said than done. Reducing the stress in your life is so important on many different levels. It will not only help your fertility and health but also your quality of life. If your job is really stressful, maybe begin to look for a different job or occupation. If that is not possible, some of the tips below will help you to deal with your stress differently than how you currently are.
2. Change how you react to stressful situations. When faced with an ongoing stressful situation there is only one thing you have control over... how you react. Pay attention to how you react to the stressful people at work, or to your stressful situation. Do you turn it over in your head all night long, do you create scary future visions of what could happen? Getting control of how you react will have a big impact on what happens inside of your body when a stressful situation presents itself. This takes some attention and practice.
3. Have a practice or habit that helps you to reduce stress. Here are some suggestions of practices or daily habits that help reduce the effects of stress on your health.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep
Get an adequate amount of healthy exercise daily
Start practicing Yoga
Consume natural, calming herbs and supplements
Reading a book in the park
Take warm baths
Surrender and let go