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Stress and infertility: Which comes first?

Trying to conceive can be a stressful time for all parties involved. It’s no surprise, then, why thats stress is linked to infertility. However, it is still unclear if stress causes fertility issues or fertility issues lead to stress. Different studies on the matter have led to different results. There are many factors involved in conception that have to be taken under consideration before reaching a conclusion.

Does stress cause fertility problems?

We all know that being stressed is not good for our health. Many studies show that extreme stress can stop ovulation in animals. But how do we define its intensity? Research shows that sudden emotional stress can have a big impact on hormones. However, everyday stress that most of us experience at work or at home is different. According to experts in fertility, it is very rare that moderate daily stress affects conception. Although a menstrual cycle can be disturbed by stress, in most cases it does not create infertility. Women still ovulate during stressful periods, and the odds of conception are quite high if there are no other health issues involved.

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So, each couple should make their own assessment about stress. If it affects your ability to function normally, then it may hinder your chances to conceive. But if it’s just a normal amount of stress that you are used to, there is not much reason to worry. (The last thing you need is to stress about being stressed!) But if you do feel that tension has risen a bit too much, there are natural ways to relieve it. Yoga, Pilates, Tai chi, light exercise and long walks are ideal ways to reduce high cortisol levels.

Do fertility problems cause more stress?

Trying to conceive is a very emotional time for both partners. Hence, stress caused by trying is very common for most people.You may get lots of advice from relatives and friends. “Stay relaxed” is a very common one. Also, getting asked “When are you going to have a baby?” is a ‘favorite’ for most couples. The thing is that sharing information can sometimes create a lot of stress on its own. The best thing is to openly discuss the matter only if you feel comfortable. Otherwise, it is only your partner and doctor that should know the details of planning a pregnancy.

RELATED: When should we consider seeing a fertility specialist?

Another issue is not conceiving as planned. A poll held by Babycentre UK revealed that for 98% of respondents said that it is taking longer than planned to conceive. This may be frustrating, and it can create a lot of tension for a couple. Talking to an expert is the best idea in this case. Staying informed is essential as it can offer comfort and help release accumulated stress.

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There’s lots of help out there; you just have to look for it. Talk to your partner about any issues that are troubling you and then decide together what your best course of action should be.

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