6 Ways Stress Can Make It Harder To Get Pregnant

6 Ways Stress Can Make It Harder To Get Pregnant

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Life is tough, and many challenges are presented to everyone.

There are many factors that cause stress to someone. The work environment and workload can be stressful to anyone, as well as financial struggles and insurmountable debt, ill pets or family members, death of a loved one, ending up with a bad reputation, and divorce are just a few examples of stressful factors. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

And, even if none of those factors are the reason that you are stressed, then that is proof right there that life for any reason can be challenging and can cause you to be stressed.

And, you probably are quite aware that extreme stress that is not managed can do a lot of damage to your body! Especially if you are trying to conceive a baby.

What Stress Does to your body

It is a known fact that extreme stress does have a negative impact on male and female fertility. Normal amounts of daily stress do not have an impact on the body, and will not affect fertility.

Extreme stress is a major reason that so many couples struggle to conceive. They are under so much stress, especially if they are stressed because they aren’t conceiving!

And then, each time Aunt Flo pays a visit, that causes more stress which will keep reducing the odds of conception to happen. You can see how that becomes a vicious cycle.

It is also no coincidence that you have heard so many stories about couples who just adopted because they could not get pregnant on their own end up surprisingly pregnant! That is because the stress from the failure to conceive has disappeared and they shifted their focus on the adopted child – which made them happy and grateful.

Those positive emotions had a positive effect on their bodies, and then the proof of that is that the pregnancy happened when they thought they could not conceive on their own.

importance of emotional support when stressed

However, please know that this type of thing only happens to a fraction of infertile couples. Many times infertility is due to reasons that have nothing to do with stress. But we are not going to focus on that right now. Let’s find out 6 ways that stress can make it harder to get pregnant:


When Stress Affects Your Ability To Sleep

People need to have an average of 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night in order to function properly, which also applies to their reproductive health. For those who get 6 hours of sleep or less or for those who get 9 hours of sleep or more are not healthy and their reproductive health also suffers.

It is true that as people age, melatonin levels naturally begin to decline and but that doesn’t start to happen until you are over 40. There are many couples who are starting to conceive for a baby around that age because they spent their younger- and more fertile years establishing themselves and enjoying their freedom.

melatonin levels

And, people who are trying to get pregnant at that age are well aware of the fact that they need fertility help so that would not be stressing them out due to this awareness. However, if a younger individual is not sleeping properly, then it is usually due to stress- unless they are ill.

That said, when stress affects your ability to get the right number of hours to sleep each night, then your hormones will be off balance, and it will be indicated by the woman who ends up having irregular periods- especially if she did not have a history of having irregular periods.

We will get into what to do about improving sleep habits later on because sleep irregularities are not the only caused by stress that can get in the way of conception from happening.


When Stress Affects Your Eating Habits

Another thing to go when you are affected by stress is your eating habits. Stress can cause you not eat at all, and sometimes you can lose weight, or it can cause you to emotionally overeat which will cause you to gain weight. Extreme weight changes that are brought on by stress will affect your fertility.

In addition to that, the reason that undereating does not always cause weight loss is that whenever anyone is overly stressed, they end up with having high levels of a hormone called cortisol.

high cortisol levels

Cortisol adds weight as well and also gets in the way of normal hormonal function. The extra cortisol can not only prevent ovulation from happening, but it also lowers sperm count and quality in men.

And, obesity, in general, can cause hormonal imbalances in men and women and will have a negative impact on fertility. The same goes with not eating and losing weight despite high levels of cortisol. That is extremely harmful to fertility.


When You Work Out Too Much Because It Is A Coping Mechanism For Dealing With Stress

Many people who are under an extreme amount of stress will use working out with great intensity as a distraction. I personally know a woman who has a severely autistic child and the way she copes with the extreme stress from that is by literally working out all of the time.

She is extremely fit and muscular, but don’t think that if anyone is very fit from working out all the time has good reproductive health. It is unlikely she is trying to get pregnant, but she is an example of how someone uses working out with extreme intensity to cope with major stress.

coping with stress

When you are working out with great intensity for a number of hours in a day, you are stressing your body out. You are harming your own reproductive health, and this is why athletes struggle to conceive.

If they do get pregnant, they miscarry early on and that is because implantation does not happen properly due to the hormonal imbalances caused by heavy exercising.

Even though exercise is important to stay healthy and is a great way to manage stress, moderation is always the key!

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Stress Can Cause You To Drink More Coffee

Those who are under an extreme amount of stress don’t have a clear head, and that is probably also due to the fact that they are not sleeping properly which has already been covered. What do people do who aren’t sleeping well but need to stay awake to function during the day? They drink coffee.

coffee, stress and fertility

Having one cup of coffee in the morning is absolutely fine to do for women that are trying to get pregnant- and one cup a day is also safe to drink during pregnancy. However, those who are under an insurmountable amount of stress do not just stick to one cup of coffee.

They can drink more than 4 cups a day which is also very unhealthy and will inhibit ovulation in women- and in men, too much caffeine will have a negative impact on sperm counts and quality.


Stress Can Cause You To Indulge In Bad Habits Like Drinking And Smoking

Whenever you are trying to get pregnant, you already know that you have to ditch drinking and smoking. However, it is understandable that quitting cold turkey is very hard.

And, if you are overly stressed out because you did try quitting smoking cold turkey- then you should not have done that and should have gotten help with your doctor as far as quitting goes.

And you may already be aware that smoking does have a negative impact on fertility for men and for women. And, if pregnancy does happen, then the unborn baby is at risk for being born prematurely or underweight. Additionally, you are increasing the risk of a miscarriage as well.

risk of a miscarriage

Though, it is not known how much drinking can affect female fertility as many women who drink frequently have gotten pregnant. But, drinking does lower the sperm count and quality in men!

The same applies when it comes to doing recreational drugs, but there is nothing that indicates whether or not cannabis can cause infertility.  At one time it was believed that cannabis did lower sperm count in men, but after more research has been done on this topic, they have found that it probably has no effect on male and female fertility.


Stress Is A Libido Killer

Let’s face facts. If you are overly stressed out, the last thing you are going to want to feel like doing is having sex. And you know that is the only way that you can get pregnant!

If extreme stress is affecting your partner, then he will not be able to have an erection which will cause even more stress for you and for him.

changes in libido

And, think about this. If the stress is causing you not to sleep properly, a lack of sleep will also get in the way of you being in the mood to have sex.

Now that you have read the 6 ways that stress can get in the way of you getting pregnant, the good news is that there are ways to manage stress- even extreme stress. Let’s talk about ways to properly manage stress:


Methods On How To Manage Stress So It No Longer Affects Your Fertility

Like I said before, normal amounts of everyday stress that the average person faces will not have a negative impact on their health. In fact, having a little stress can be a good thing because it keeps you motivated.

However, when it comes to extreme stress to the point that it is appearing to be insurmountable- then you need to take some serious steps to manage it because your health and fertility depend on it. Let’s talk about how to do that now.

1. Create a sleeping schedule. The first thing that stress causes you to do is to get too little or too much sleep which is not good for your fertility. What you need to do is create a bedtime schedule, and prepare yourself for getting to bed once the bedtime hour approaches.

create a sleep schedule

That means to stay away from anything that will stimulate your mind like your smartphone and to turn off your television. Drink some lavender tea before bed as that is a great relaxant.

And, set your alarm to the time you want to wake up. Remember, you need 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

Once you get that down, you will feel so much better.

2. Get rid of junk food and stick to the fertility-friendly foods. Junk food will also increase cortisol levels due to the fact it causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Only stick to foods that are fertility friendly and it is best to see a nutritionist or dietician that can help guide you.

Your craving for junk food will also diminish, and be sure to be eating the right amount of calories for your needs. Getting better sleep and eating a balanced diet will help slash your stress levels alone.

3. Take up yoga or meditation. Even if you don’t like the ideas of doing yoga or meditation, try it. Try a class or two and you may actually find you like it.

Take up yoga or meditation

4. Unwind each night and for a few minutes several times a day. Whether or not you like meditation or yoga, and whether or not you continue with it- it is crucial that you take a few minutes a day to do something you enjoy.

You can read an enjoyable book, listen to music, and watch funny shows. Stay away from horror or thrillers.

5. Journal. Studies have shown that stress levels go down a lot whenever you journal what you are feeling. It is a great way to release the stress so it is not pent up into you.

6. Get moderate exercise. Remember, don’t work out too much or else that will defeat the purpose. But taking a half hour brisk walk for 5 days a week is great for relieving stress and for your fertility.

7. Get a stress ball. If you get a stress ball and squeeze into it a few times a day, that can also be quite helpful as far as releasing the stressful energy.

8. See a therapist. If all else is failing or the causes of your stress is too much to handle, then it is crucial to see a therapist! Your therapist will help you manage the stress you are dealing with and it may take time to find the right fit.

Now you see the 6 ways that stress can have a negative impact on your fertility. But the good news is, there are ways to manage it and the only way to do that is to utilize the tips above!

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Alyssia Granger
Alyssia Granger | ConceiveEasy
Alyssia is mom to 2. She's a Southern girl, passionate about photography, travel and her husband Josh.