“Just relax and it will happen” is common advice for couples who are trying to conceive without success. While there are a number of medical issues that can cause fertility problems, research has shown that stress and anxiety can negatively affect fertility.
Stress can decrease fertility in a number of ways:
Frequency of Sex
Individuals who are stressed or anxious are less likely to have sex on a regular basis. Because women are only fertile for 24 hours during a cycle, having sex infrequently can have a significant impact on a couple’s ability to get pregnant.
The human body has a number of physical reactions to stress. One of those reactions can be seen in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that is responsible for producing fertility hormones. Women who are constantly under stress may not ovulate regularly. Research has also showed a similar decrease in sperm production in men with ongoing stress issues.
Stress During Fertility Treatment
Women who have large amounts of stress in their lives have less successful in vitro fertilization outcomes than their less stressed counterparts. A study from the University of California San Diego showed that stress can negatively impact every aspect of the in vitro fertilization process. Women under stress produced fewer eggs than their less stressed counterparts. The same negative impact could be seen when looking at embryo implantation after transfer. An Israeli study demonstrated that improvements in IVF success rates could be seen when stress was mitigated.
It is important to recognize the difference between occasional and constant stress. Occasional stress is a normal part of life and should not negatively impact fertility. However, if stress and anxiety is a normal part of your life and you’re having difficulty coping, you should employ stress reduction methods such as exercise, getting adequate rest and having a confidant to discuss your feelings with.
Receive additional information on stress and fertility by contacting New Hope Fertility Center today. New Hope uses a number of holistic approaches during fertility treatment including acupuncture and yoga to help patients relax physically and mentally. Please click the link below to enter your information and New Hope will contact you, or simply call 212-517-7676. Thank You.