Want to get pregnant? Reducing your stress could make all the difference to your chances of conceiving.
We all know that stress isn’t good for you. But it may not only make you feel tense or disturb your sleep: it can also reduce your fertility. Several studies have shown that stress can reduce the chances of conceiving and increase the chances of miscarriage. A study in Texas of more than 500 women, found that those who exhibited the highest levels of stress markers in their saliva were 29% less likely to conceive naturally within 12 months than those showing lower stress markers.
This can be true of men as well as women. A study of 193 men in Northern California found that those who had been through two or more stressful life events in the last year had fewer normal sperm and reduced sperm motility, compared with the men who had not suffered any stressful life events in the previous 12 months. Although workplace stress did not directly affect semen quality, the researchers found that those who experienced job strains had lower levels of the hormone testosterone in their semen, which could affect their reproductive health.
Not only can stress reduce your chance of conceiving, acute stress during pregnancy can affect how your baby grows or even, in extreme cases, lead to a premature birth. But there is good news, research has shown that the right psychological support can help infertile women to conceive.
Stress is a natural part of life, but removing stressful factors that you don’t have to live with while learning successful methods for coping with the things you can’t change, will improve your chances of getting pregnant and your enjoyment of your pregnancy.
Lifestyle and fertility articles
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