Stress and Fertility

“Just relax, and you’ll get pregnant”.  That is the advice that is given over, and over to couples and partners going through fertility treatments.  But anyone who’s gone through this journey knows just what a tall order that can be!  I certainly struggled with it when my husband and I were going through our fertility journey.

Getting pregnant turns out to be a much bigger challenge for many people than they believed it would be.  According to the CDC, 1 in 8 couples are having trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Many couples and partners are pursuing some form of medical help to deal with infertility.  

Approximately 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures. 

This means that on top of managing the fertility journey, people are also navigating expensive procedures, mood-altering drugs, and serious medical procedures. This can lead to increased stress, depression and anxiety in either or both of the partners going through the process together. 

In fact, studies show that the stress of going through fertility treatments is on par with people facing cancer or serious heart disease.

The Role of Stress

New studies are starting to demonstrate that stress – and sometimes “trying too hard” – may actually play a role in up to 30% of all infertility problems.

What can You Do?

It all starts with some basic awareness and education about your body’s stress system and how it responds to triggers and cues your environment.  When your stress system is set off, stress hormones and chemicals are released into your body that intensifies your stress levels and makes your body less prepared to be a welcome environment for a pregnancy.

I want to teach you how to recognize this stress state and change it.  I have counseled people who are going through their fertility process to reduce their stress and improve their connection with each other.

I will work with you to target step-by-step ways to change the stress response in your body.  I will teach you ways to:

  • Identify stress triggers in your life
  • De-activate your “fight or flight” response
  • Use meditation and mindfulness tools to lower stress
  • Strategies for preventing and managing stress for you and your partner
  • Help improve the quality of your sleep

So let’s get started.  Go to my counseling page and book a 30-minute free stress consultation with me so we can begin to reduce the effects of stress in your life right now.

Photo Credit: Amy McTigue

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