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Most of our clients live busy lives that can be stressful at times – or all the time. When you’re trying to get pregnant, however, your levels of stress can impact your ability to conceive. For example, women who worry a lot are 20 percent less likely to get pregnant than women who don’t. This is because the release of stress hormones like cortisol changes your physiology and affects your reproductive system.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? When you are stressed, your body knows it’s not a good time to have a baby. If you are under extreme stress, your body may even shut down all the systems that are not necessary for imminent survival—including the reproductive system.
What’s ironic is that the experience of infertility itself can be the biggest stressor in your life. One study of 200 couples who visited a fertility clinic has shown that half of all women think infertility was the most upsetting experience in their life. Men also feel significant levels of loss and grief if they are unable to start a family.
Many people feel anxious or depressed as they are going through the fertility process. The relationships with their partners could face challenges and their stress often becomes worse if the cycles are not successful. Couple that with the social isolation and the stigma resulting from infertility and you have the recipe for even more stress!
Stress is unavoidable, but it’s important to be aware of how stress can influence your fertility journey. For the best chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy, there are plenty of ways you can alleviate your stress during fertility treatments:
Give yourself time and space to process your emotions about infertility. Unprocessed emotions will linger and contribute to your stress.
Not having clarity around issues of fertility can be a source of stress. Do your research and get informed about the causes of fertility and the treatment options.
Whether it’s going to a spa, getting a massage, or practicing yoga, find ways to calm your body and mind.
Go to therapy
Find a therapist who has experience with infertility or a couples counselor to get insight into your relationship as you go through the fertility journey.
Get away from fertility treatments
Don’t let fertility treatment take over your life! Get your head away from thinking about your fertility treatments by doing all the usual things you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to take a break from treatments if you are unsuccessful after a cycle and need to try again.
The Alabama Center for Reproductive Medicine guides clients through every aspect of the fertility journey from medical treatments to emotional support. To learn more about fertility options at ACRM, call for a consultation today.