Good day bloggers.
The silent journey of infertility has loud chaos within the body, soul and mind. The seemingly easy process of conception becomes the goal of existence and the gap between realities and expectation widens. While saying so, we understand the depth of feelings couple experience and that’s why the thought of approaching this blog titled,” Can stress cause infertility?” with the utmost maturity, science-based evidence and practical ways to deal with it.
So, let’s understand and address a few points here.
What is the stress all about regarding fertility concerns?
The gap between reality and expectation exists, rather in every walk of life. Anxiety, stress, and depression are tough to manage as these are strong reactions by the body and it’s not uncommon when you’re navigating fertility.
Still, a lot of studies show that stress and anxiety may impact fertility, which adds up to the problems while trying to conceive.
Depression levels in patients with infertility have been compared with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. It is estimated that 1 in 8 couples have a problem with conception or carrying a full-term pregnancy. These statistics about infertility simply mean,” you are not the only one. Despite this, the majority of infertile women do not share their stories with family or friends, thus increasing their anxiety. These negative feelings may lead to depression, anxiety, distress, and a poor quality of life.
Understanding the gravity of the situation, there is a need to recognize, acknowledge, and assist the couples. A real concern to address is, Does infertility cause stress or does stress cause infertility?
Let’s respect couples’ responses towards infertility concerns; it is natural.
What research says about stress and infertility connection?
Whatever the reason for anxiety is, the release of stress hormones (like cortisol) can lead to physiological changes that impact your reproductive health. Cortisol cause increased heart rate, short breathing, high blood pressure, and headaches. (These are a few physiological markers of stress). This can disrupt the connection between the brain and ovaries and cause delayed or absent ovulation and irregular or missed periods.
Research shows that stress levels increase the longer you have difficulty getting pregnant.
Studies around stress and fertility are complex, but there’s evidence that stress can impact your hormone levels and menstrual cycles.
Epidemiology. 2015 Mar; 26(2): 177–184, research reveals about the high-stress group had lower levels of estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and progesterone and higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormone which causes anovulation.
Delayed ovulation or anovulation due to stress is not the same as chronic infertility. Still, when your cycles are irregular, one of the biggest obstacles is not knowing when to time intercourse or insemination to increase the chances of getting pregnant.
As to whether stress impacts time to pregnancy, pregnancy rates, or in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes and to what extent, the findings are mixed some studies show adverse effects, while others don’t.
We don’t fully know how effective stress management may be in increasing conception rates but there’s value in reducing your stress whether or not it directly affects your fertility.
Lastly, how can you take control situation to reduce stress on your fertility?
1. Manage the symptoms: Exercise, yoga, meditation, and group therapy, can help you take control of your stress levels. Since infertility is such a common cause of depression and anxiety, it’s especially important to pay attention as those services are often not provided during fertility treatments. We at Yash IVF have special attention to providing expert opinions through counselling. As infertility or IVF treatments are costly and time-consuming, open, honest interactions with realistic expectations are our prime motto.
2. Address potential causes: Take valuable time to improve external factors that may be stressing you out. Aim for improved work-life balance, carve out more time for friendships and work on strengthening your relationship. This aspect is very important to reduce stress levels. We at Yash IVF put special emphasis on couple counselling throughout IVF Journey as infertility is not merely a hospital or clinic issue, infertility is a concern 24*7. The special guidelines are often discussed with couples that will reduce the stress at the workplace as well as within the family.
3. Seek support with your partner: A 2018 study suggested that couples who are both emotionally affected by infertility should be open to psychological help. Another 2017 study says that psychosocial care for couples undergoing fertility treatments can reduce cortisol levels and emotional distress, improving pregnancy outcomes.
The golden takeaway is, no matter what, checking in with stress levels is always a good idea. That is the reason, fertility treatment at Yash IVF is always unique. Counsellors are the experts who work along with Dr Chaitanya Ganapule, an eminent fertility specialist and laparoscopic surgeon who personally devotes time to understanding their concerns and drawing an individualised plan.
We, at Yash IVF, have built up a family of almost 5500+ couple and every patient with their baby are expanding the happy Yash Family. We are here to serve you during and after the treatment. Do connect with us to know more as we are on a mission to offer parenthood to all.
Mr & Mrs Mhatre are dentists by profession and have excellent practice in Pune. Visited several clinics to find out about their miscarriages. They have read all the relevant details to zero down on clinics that can end the agony and offer them parenthood. The counselling session with team Yash IVF, as well as Dr Ganapule, put their concerns to rest and today they are proud parents of beautiful Saloni. A happy cheerful family is a reflection of a stress-free process and willingness to go the extra mile as we understand, creating a family is not about treatment, it is about creating realistic expectations and delivering parenthood.