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Infertility, Stress and Your Health

Infertility, Stress and Your Health

Infertility like any other medical condition is treated most effectively when you and your physicians work together. Working to improve your overall health and reduce stress levels is a way in which you as a patient can contribute to your treatment and feel more in control.
Stress can play a role in reproductive health; it has been proven for many years that stress has a great effect on our overall health. Chronic, long term stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, speed up the aging process and decrease sex drive.

Stress Health Effects: 10 Scary Things It's Doing To Your Body

  • Fuels Cancer In Animal Studies
  • Shrinks The Brain
  • Prematurely Ages Kids
  • Could Affect Your Offspring's Genes
  • Spurs Depressive Symptoms
  • Increases Risk Of Chronic Diseases
  • Raises Stroke Risk
  • Makes Colds Worse
  • Does A Number On Your Heart
  • Could Affect Cancer Outcomes

Infertility is stressful and stress can affect fertility. That is why at ReproMed Fertility Center Dr. Pinto and Dr. Tan try to be as comforting and reassuring as possible through the process. You can also help reduce your stress through some of the methods below. You will know what works best for you simply by how you feel.

1. Keep a Fertility Journal
Keeping a record is not only smart; it is also a great anxiety reducer. You don’t have to remember anything. You will have it in writing. You may also find that when you are writing down instructions, it will also help you understand the process better. And if you can’t understand what you are writing down, that is a red flag to ask more questions! There are a few designed just for Infertility treatment. “The IVF Companion” by Stephanie Fry or “The Fertility Journal: A Day by Day Guide to Getting Pregnant” by Conceive Magazine.

2. Acupuncture Treatments
Acupuncture is the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on the body which reside on channels or meridians; these are pathways in both the exterior and interior of the body. These points, when needled, can regulate the way in which the body functions. It will not treat any physical issue preventing pregnancy but it can help with stress.  Acupuncture could benefit from the potential of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping facilitate a thick, rich lining.

3. Music
The soothing power of music is well-established. It has a unique link to our emotions, so can be an extremely effective stress management tool.
Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.  There is also special music available that is designed for infertility treatments.

3. Meditation practice
Remember, your perception of the outer world is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside. When I started to calm my mind, the rest of the world felt calm. There are many different types of meditation and I recommend trying out a few techniques to see what's best for you.

4. Practicing yoga
I never really knew what yoga was. I thought it was a kind of stretching exercise that only flexible people could do. What I understand now is that it's a complete mind-body connection that eases your mind and soothes your soul. (Of course, it's also good for your physical body as well but that's an added bonus.)

5. Whole healthy foods
You are what you eat. If you're going to eat processed and junk foods, well…. guess how you'll feel? Eat whole foods that aren’t processed, consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables. Particularly when you're stressed out, sugar is one of the worst things you can put into your body when you're stressed out, or any time for that matter.

6. Make time for fun
I get it: we're all busy. You have to schedule time for yourself to renew and restore and just plain old having a good time.

Lifestyle changes take time and it’s important to work them in at a pace that's best for you. If you're committed and do your homework, you can be a great partner with your physicians and contribute to your infertility treatment.

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