We know the fact that infertility causes high levels of stress but does stress cause infertility is still not evident. While at present there is no conclusive data which proves the link between Stress and Infertility, there are enough inferences that we can make which points to the strong link.
As per Allen Morgan, MD, Director or Shore Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Lakewood, N.J some hormones like cortisol and epinephrine which are produced during stress, play a role in infertility. She also adds that stress reduction increases blood flow to the uterus which helps in conception.
There are several reasons for infertility such as blocks in fallopian tubes, inferior quality sperms, irregular periods etc. However, there are around 40% of couples in whom the cause of infertility is not known. In such couples, generally stress is found to be a factor.
One of the hormones released during stress is corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH). Some studies have shown elevated levels of CRH in women with preterm deliveries and miscarriages.
It is a known fact that stress and fatigue cause less interest to have intercourse. Periods also alter under elevated levels of stress.
A study conducted by WHO guidelines on 70 male partners revealed that high levels of stress impacts the quality of semen.
It is also a known fact that stress creates physiological changes in our body, many studies indicate that some of these changes might not be good for reproductive health.
In our hospital, we have seen that couples with high levels of anxiety and stress leave the infertility treatment process in between thus reducing their chance of conceiving. While couples with reduced stress continue with the treatment and in majority of such cases we see positive outcome.
Even though there are several studies conducted to find out the relation between stress and infertility, there is no conclusive evidence. This is because stress is very difficult to measure, and stress has different effects on different people, hence it is very individualistic.
It is important to manage stress! Following are certain tips to manage stress.
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