When a couple is trying to conceive and fails multiple times, the experience causes additional stress. These raised stress levels impact fertility.
Trying to conceive should be an exciting time in a couple’s life. When the two people are trying to have a baby and it isn’t happening, the undue stress can greatly affect the conception process. It can turn into a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
How Does Stress Impact Fertility?
Stress affects the release of hormones that can block natural conception. It happens in both men and women by preventing ovulation in women and lowering sperm count in men. While stress is a normal part of life, constant, severe stress takes its toll on both men and women physically. This stress lowers the chance of a positive pregnancy test each month. If a couple does conceive and is still constantly stressed, the stress places the fetus at risk. Quite simply, the body responds to stress by preventing pregnancy and causing harm to a growing baby.
Why Does Stress Cause Infertility?
During periods of chronic stress, signals are sent to the part of the brain that causes ovulation. The hormones that cause the body to release eggs are not produced, preventing ovulation and making conception unlikely. Men who are stressed have a lower sperm count, so when couples experience the stress of infertility together, both the man and the woman are lowering the risk of conception.
Does This Mean a Couple Won’t Ever Get Pregnant if There Is Stress?
Conception is definitely possible even with stress. When two people have been trying for long periods of time and are unable to conceive, there are other factors that affect the process. Many couples get frustrated and stop having sex on a regular basis. Women may stop keeping track of their cycle; therefore, they won’t know the best time to conceive. This can lead to mental problems like depression, which can also suppress ovulation. This in turn can lead to relationship issues, which can cause even more stress. The cycle seems to go on and on.
What Can Couples Do?
The first step is to relax. There are steps you can take in learning to reduce stress and increase chances of conception. You may want to consider talking to a professional about the issues you are having. He or she can steer you and your partner in the right direction to make conception a reality. Also methods for stress reduction such as yoga, meditation or autogenic training can be helpful.
Another step is to continue having sex but to avoid making it seem like it is a job that needs to be done. Be spontaneous, and don’t plan it ahead of time. Do it for fun. You will both be more relaxed, and this is usually the time when conception happens.
Many couples have trouble making their dream of starting a family a reality. The thing to remember is to never give up. If you have been trying for over six months without positive results, speak to a doctor. He or she can get you started on the path to pregnancy.