How Stress Affects Fertility | Stress Causes Infertility

Most people in urban areas and semi-urban areas are living a highly stressed life. The demands from their job, families and society are sometimes more than a normal person can cope with. Job demands and the fear of losing your job if you are unable to meet targets is quite a rampant occurrence in corporate offices today. Social and financial pressures to buy newer and the latest things while trying to keep pace with richer neighbours and friends, is very stressful.

If that is not enough you also have to deal with the home front and demands of family members. The pressure for having a baby is on for couples who have been married for a few years. Of course every couple dreams of having a baby. Somehow you just have to fit that into your already packed schedule.

The effects of stress

When you are too stressed it can have a negative impact on your health. In general a stressed person is an unhealthy person and this leads to poor dietary habits. Stressed people tend to skip meal and have irregular eating habits. They also end up eating more junk food and unhealthy food just to satisfy their nagging hunger pangs.

People who are stressed are more likely to pick up the habit of smoking and drinking in an attempt to reduce the stress or act as a diversion. While it has been scientifically proved that neither smoking nor alcohol reduces stress many people are oblivious to this fact.

Elevated cortisol relating to prolonged stress can lead to:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Disruption of normal ovulation
  • Disruption of menstrual cycles.

Excess cortisol production may hamper optimal production of androgenic sex hormones.

Stress results in lower libido. While sex is known to be a stress reliever most couples who are stressed tend to abstain as they do not seem to have the desire with their lowered libido. This is also probably another reason why couples who live high stressed lives are not being able to conceive.

Stress affects ovulation

Stress affects different people in different ways. When a woman is very stressed in her life it can cause a malfunction in her reproductive organs. She may ovulate late or not at all during that particular cycle.

Sudden stress can affect fertility more than constant stress. When a woman is constantly under stress her body grows accustomed to it after a while and learns to function normally. She will even find that her ovulation cycle is normal and regular. What affects the human body and especially fertility is sudden stress. Sudden stress affects people in situations such as a sudden death of a loved one, a terminal illness diagnosis of a near one, or some other very distressing news.

The diagnosis of infertility or a miscarriage can also cause a lot of stress to a hopeful couple. Each person has their own individual way of reacting to the news but the effects are devastating.

Women who have high levels of stress – ovulate 20% fewer eggs compared with women who are less stressed of, those who are able to produce eggs, those who are most stressed are 20% less likely to achieve fertilization success stress-induced reproductive dysfunction.

Stress Induced Reproductive Dysfunction

One of the common reasons for infertility in many women is due to a condition labelled as Stress Induced Reproductive Dysfunction. Some women are very sensitive to stress and their bodies react immediately to stress, while other women are quite resilient and are not adversely affected by high volumes of stress.

At times it has been found that even assisted reproduction is not successful in couples who are stressed. Research shows that a reproductive hormone called gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone, or GnIH suppresses the GnRH and stops reproduction.

Seeking the advice of a good fertility consultant can help you find ways to fulfil your dream of having a baby. This may involve a number of practices such as stress relieving therapy and other medication to regulate your hormones to become conducive. Having a baby can bring newfound joy into your life which in itself will be a great stress buster. Try to look at your baby while holding on to all the stress.