The age-old advice, “You are trying too hard-just relax and let nature take its course.” can be frustrating for a couple trying to conceive, but research studies performed on men and women experiencing fertility problems for no apparent medical reason have demonstrated that there does appear to be some merit in these words.
Stress-reduction techniques can be effective in up to 30% of cases of unexplained infertility. While the exact mechanism by which stress negatively impacts pregnancy is still unclear, the following points reveal several possible links between stress and infertility:
- Relaxed mood increases chances of conception: Pregnancy is most likely to occur when couples are happy and relaxed. Those who are worried and tense tend to make their fertility issues worse. This is especially true for couples undergoing fertility treatments.
- Impact on fertilization: Women’s eggs are 20% less likely to achieve fertilization if they are experiencing a great deal of stress.
- High stress levels in modern times: About 3 or 4 decades ago, unexplained infertility rates were between 10% and 20%. Today, the unexplained fertility rate is fast approaching 40%.
- Effect of stress hormones: Certain hormones such as cortisol or epinephrine that are produced in large quantities during periods of chronic stress may cause infertility.
- Effect on the uterine lining: Reducing stress may improve the ability of the uterine lining to facilitate implantation of the fertilized egg improving the chances of achieving pregnancy.
- Blood flow to the uterus: When you are tense, blood flow and hence essential nutrients are diverted to other parts of your body to help you deal with the stressful situation. Conversely, when you are relaxed, blood supply to your uterus is increased improving your chances of pregnancy.
With age being an important factor in your ability to conceive, if you think you might benefit from fertility treatments, it is important to contact your doctor or a fertility specialist as soon as possible.
ReproMed Fertility is a leading fertility treatment center offering treatments for female and male infertility in Dallas, Irving, McKinney, Rockwell, and the surrounding areas of Texas.