I'm completing some continuing education credits for my profession today and found something I can't help sharing from a journal article. It's so important to take care of our physical health, ie exercise, nutrition, taking care of hormonal imbalances & other disorders/diseases, drug/alcohol abuse, smoking, preventing/treating STI's etc., but it's equally, if not more important to treat our mental - emotional/social/spiritual health:-
There is increasing evidence that psychological stress has a negative effect upon fertility. Both follicle growth and sperm production can be compromised due to the body's adaptive stress response, which negatively influences the reproductive axis of both sexes and can lead to hyperprolactinemia, insulin resistance, and decreased antioxidant cofactors over time [86,87][88,119] .
Hyperprolactinemia is a known cause of hypogonadism and anovulatory amenorrhea; one study found that 20 out of 70 infertile women in a research group had excessive levels of prolactin . Another study, published in 2010, postulates that catecholamines released in response to stress can slow blood flow enough to delay egg implantation in the uterus . The same study found that reduced conception rates coincide with increasing levels of alpha-amylase, but not cortisol, in the female body. These studies add to the abundance of anecdotal evidence that suggests stress contributes to or causes ovulatory infertility.
Psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, existing before or as a result of not being able to conceive, are thought to heavily influence the outcome of infertility treatments. It has been found that women experience a significant amount of distress during the 2nd and 3rd years of attempts at conception, either naturally or though IVF or other ART treatments . One study of couples undergoing IVF treatment in Turkey found that when detailed explanation of the IVF process, psychological support, and counseling were provided, the success rates more than doubled . However, stress levels can be difficult to accurately quantify; therefore, most studies-as in the Turkish study-use women or couples attending counseling interventions or support groups as an experiment group to compare with those receiving standard care as a control. Because questions about how stressed one felt during the last cycle are subjective and stress is thought to have a similar effect on physiology in both individuals trying to conceive naturally and those undergoing infertility treatment, the results of infertility treatment/stress studies are usually extrapolated to determine that stress is a factor for infertility in the general population.
One notable study did examine couples trying to conceive on their own after experiencing infertility for less than 2 years and concluded that psychological interventions (e.g., support groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy) significantly increased pregnancy rates . Cognitive-behavioral interventions have shown the potential to effect the greatest improvement in fertility status [83,84].
It IS tough not to worry, be stressed etc. In fact, after conception, there's more worries!!! I was having a tough time a few days ago with mood swings and being really emotional! Preg. hormones kicked in for full gear, like a double dose of pms. Feeling much better now and hopefully I can manage. May seek out some kind of community support
Originally Posted by babyfeva
Nice read, thanks! I truly believe stress does affect us while trying to conceive but it's so hard not to.
Neha- I really hope your ms goes away really soon! Are you working right now?
Hi Babyfeva, thanks for your good wishes. Yes, I'm working right now, though have been taking sick leaves more often these days. Luckily, my boss is very supportive. And, my team has seen me dating my husband, getting married, and now carrying child - so they all are pampering me.
I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday. Told her about my morning sickness. She said it may continue for another couple of weeks. She had prescribed a tablet (Doxinate), but I used to take it only when I felt really sick. She said it was completely safe, and could be taken 3 times a day.
My dual test reports have also come and fortunately they are clean. So, no more HCG injections and weekly visits. Now I'll have to see my doctor every 3 weeks.
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