Infertility is on the rise, both amongst men and women. It is estimated that 10-15% of the Indian population is infertile. Worse, even young couple (aged between 21 and 30) may face difficulties conceiving naturally. Many factors seem to be at play. Poor lifestyle habits contribute to poor health including reproductive health. Add to it the trend of late marriages and late babies. Stress seems to be a huge contributor too. It works at several levels.
Stress has been blamed for a number of human ailments ranging from the cosmetic (hair fall, acne, wrinkles) to the deadly – high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. People suffering from mild bruxism can also suffer from loss of sleep, may perspire heavily and exhibit symptoms of physical and emotional stress.
When you decide to have a baby, you need to plan to have one. The foods you eat can also boost your chances of getting pregnant, which of course is part of the natural fertility treatments for men and women. Therefore, make sure you are both eating a healthy diet and cutting down on your intake of saturated fats and alcohol. A healthy, well-nourished woman is more likely to have a healthy pregnancy, which increases her chances of having a healthy baby.
Relax to Conceive:
• When you stressed out, you are probably not having sex too often. For women specifically, there’s the 48 hour window after the egg is released (ovulation) every month when she’s ready to conceive. Miss that, and you have to wait for the next cycle.
• Stress is also one of the triggers of PCOS, and a key reason for women’s infertility.
• When you or your partner is stressed, you may turn to smoking or alcohol to distract yourself. Both of these have an adequate effect on you and your partner’s overall health, including fertility. Smoking affects both the quality and quantity of your partner’s sperms.
• Smoking – even passive smoking – affects your fertility and leads to delayed conception. Heavy drinking can reduce fertility. In men, alcohol can reduce libido, affect sperm quality and cause impotence.
• Chronic Stress (the one that gnaws at us endlessly) also affects couples at the biochemical level. According to recent research, stress hormones like cortisol inhibit our body’s main sex hormones GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone) and subsequently suppress ovulation. It also affects sexual activity. Certain research also links it with testosterone level and sperm production in men.
• We also find that the stress of conceiving itself prevents conception. This is compounded by the pressure from family members – and, if they are going through assisted reproduction, the pressure of the treatment itself. During assisted reproduction treatments, we’ve often noticed that the more stressed out women undergoing IVF have lower success rate at every step.
What Can You Do?
Look at Stress differently: Stress is, of course, a part of life. And it’s unlikely that a few rough days a week at work will have a major impact on your pregnancy timetable. The key is to shake it off at the end of the day and lug it around or let it affect your day to day activities – your diet, sleep, even exercise. Also, actively engage in activities that make you happy.
Sleep Well: Snooze is regenerative, and give your body a chance to relax and recover from a taxing day. Inadequate amount to sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances that can affect fertility. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily.
Have Sex More Often: Have sex more often – and not just to make babies. Don’t let your sex life feel like project. Make love – even when you are not ovulating just for fun and intimacy.
Breathe and Relax: Doctors may understand your desire to get pregnant and the pressure you face. However, try to relax as far as possible. Communicate with your partner. If need be, seek counseling with the whole family. In fact, sometimes, when we find the stress mounting, we suggest giving the treatment a bit of a break. Let your hair down and go for a short holiday, have managed to conceive naturally.
Also Read: How Do You Get Your Periods Every Month
Reduce Stress: In fact, a study found that helping women de-stress while undergoing IVF could positively impact the success rate. Women who were entertain by clown for 15 minutes soon after the embryos were implanted into their womb were twice as likely to become pregnant, when other factors like age, type of infertility and the number of embryos implanted were taken into account.
Diet: Your daily diet must be high in calcium, vitamins and iron. It regulates the hormones in your body and keeps them at levels needed for fertility. It is essential to achieving the optimum weight you should be at for conception. It helps with the production of an egg so that fertilization is possible and easier to manage.