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Am I infertile because of too much stress?

In our present day-day activities we tend to experience a lot of stress which impacts our health in a negative way. Even one’s fertility does get affected. We must realize stress is not good for our body system

Can Stress Impact Fertility?

Our body system is off and on exposure to acute stress and we need to cope up with this stress. At the same time, we need to take care of our health as well. Nevertheless, although we do feel that stress does affect fertility negatively, yet our body stem has the mechanism to prevent conception from occurring during times of extreme stress. On account of the presence of adrenalin, which is a hormone that is released by our bodies during the time of stress, it does signal our body system that conditions are not ideal for conception. Adrenaline does, of course, inhibit us from utilizing the hormone progesterone, which is certainly essential for fertility. It also does cause the pituitary gland to release higher levels of prolactin, which also causes infertility.

How Stress Impacts Fertility?

Recent research tells us that stress boosts levels of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, catecholamines, and cortisol, which can also inhibit the release of the body’s main hormone, GnRH ( gonadotropin releasing hormone), which is indeed responsible for the release of sex hormones. Subsequently, this may suppress ovulation in women, reduce sperm count in men and lower the libido in both women as well as men.

Produced by the hypothalamus, GnRH is also responsible for signaling the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and also follicle that stimulates hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland, which then does stimulate the gonads (ovaries in women, testes in men) in order to release sex hormones (estrogens and androgens). The levels of sex hormones do rise and once a certain level is attained, it does become part of a negative feedback loop (negative feedback inhibition) which actually signal the suppression of LH.

Any disruption to the GnRH may, in fact, cause an insufficient release of hormones from the pituitary gland which can, in fact, cause their target organs not to work as they did once and in extreme cases it could lead to atrophy over time and thus no longer function.

Chronic stress may indeed cause lack of libido as well as a decrease in general fertility. This has also become such a common issue that has been created a name for it: Stress-Induced Reproductive Dysfunction.

These facts are very important to consider if you have been trying to conceive with no results. It also shows that stress relief should be a part of every couple’s conception plan even if they are going through IVF.

Trying to carry a pregnancy to term during stressful times places the fetus at risk. The body knows this, which is why it creates an environment that is basically inhospitable to conception. Generally, a stressed person is an unhealthy person. People living with a high-stress level are typically overly tired and filled with nervous tension which may cause them to choose poor dietary and lifestyle habits.

Reducing Stress for Fertility

If one is having difficulty in conceiving, stress can well be a factor. If one had undergone fertility tests and has also found that there is no medical reason for one’s infertility, it is time to evaluate one’s life and also determine how much stress one suffers from. Of course, one may not even have the need for an evaluation. One must make attempts to curtail stress as far as possible.

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