How does Stress Interferes with Conception

by Garreth Myers


Stress can affect the way the hypothalamus functions and hence can interfere with conception. The hypothalamus is a gland in the brain that controls emotions and appetite. It also regulates the hormones which stimulate the release of eggs by the ovaries. Stress can cause you to experience ovulation later in your menstrual cycle. It is also possible that you may not ovulate at all because of stress.

The body is able to adjust to common, daily stresses in a fairly efficient manner and hence ovulation can take place properly in spite such stress. But stress that occurs suddenly due to circumstances such as a death of a loved one or divorce can affect your menstrual cycle and hamper ovulation. However the manner in which the body responds to stress is likely to differ from woman to woman. Some women may experience delayed ovulation due to something as simple and harmless as an out-of-town trip, while others may not experience any change in their menstrual cycle even after a traumatic incident. Also stress is not always a reaction to a negative situation. People also experience positive stress such as during weddings and this can affect ovulation as well.

The cervical fluid is a good indicator of improper ovulation. Instead of experiencing increased wetness of the cervical fluid as the date of ovulation approaches, you may notice some amount of wetness with some dry days in between. This means that the body is attempting to ovulate, but due to stress it is not able to do so properly. You can also track your basal body temperature in order to check if you have ovulated. One day after you ovulate, there will be a sustained elevation in temperature and this may last up to 12 or 16 days. A point to remember here is that delayed ovulation does not reduce the duration of the luteal phase. The luteal phase continues for 12 to 16 days after ovulation and ends at the start of your next menstruation. This means that your entire cycle is lengthened. This is good news since a shorter luteal phase has been associated with early miscarriage. Therefore stress can affect the manner in which ovulation takes place, but it does not necessarily hamper your chances of a healthy and successful pregnancy. You just need to be aware of when ovulation is about to take place by monitoring your cervical fluid.

Since we know now that stress can be linked with changes in ovulation, it is helpful to also know how to handle stress effectively. There are various natural ways by which you can reduce your stress levels and increase your chances of conception. One of the best ways to alleviate stress is massage. Studies have shown that in individuals who undergo a massage, the brain waves display decreased stress and anxiety levels. Massage helps to ease tension out of the muscles and makes you more relaxed. Acupuncture is also known to be helpful in stress reduction. It involves placing thin needles in specific pressure points on the body. This practice is used to treat a wide range of health problems and is also known to be beneficial in improving fertility. The practice of yoga is another way to relax the body and mind. There are certain poses which help in dealing with problems of the reproductive system. You can enroll in a yoga class or can even practice it at home once you learn the basics. You can also relieve your anxiety through meditation. To manage stress in a healthy manner, you also need to ensure that you get adequate rest and sleep. Make sure that sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours every night.

There are also some herbal remedies which help in balancing hormonal levels and hence increase your chances of conception. The herb chasteberry is known to have a stimulating effect on the hormones that trigger ovulation. It also helps to control the levels of estrogen and progesterone. It is often used to treat women with irregular menstruation or delayed ovulation. Red clover is also beneficial in balancing the hormones. It contains certain compounds which stimulate estrogen production and thus help to improve fertility in women. In addition, this herb also has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and hence is effective in stress reduction. Ginkgo biloba is a popular herb which helps in enhancing blood flow to the reproductive organs.

In order to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you also need to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight can hamper your menstrual cycle since the body fat is involved in the production of many hormones that involve reproduction. A fit and active lifestyle is also essential so that your insulin and blood sugar levels stay at a healthy level. This ensures that the hormones involved in fertility and ovulation also remain at healthy levels.


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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