Stress and Your Fertility
Stress can have a detrimental effect on Male and Female fertility. It can also be detriment to having a successful IVF cycle. Stress can reduce blood flow to certain parts of the body. The body will shift blood away from “non-essential organs” during times of stress. Since the ovaries are not essential for “fight or flight,” reduce blood flow can mean the ovaries are not nourished with enough blood and nutrients, reducing egg quality.
The sympathetic nervous system readies the body for fight or flight, and is often hyper-mobilized when we under stress. When under long term stress, certain hormones such as cortisol, can become over- secreted, and create an unhealthy environment in the body. Furthermore, long term stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, which can exhaust the kidneys and result in diminished fertility in both men and women.
Acupuncture stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms and balances the sympathetic system.
Stress can also lower the libido of couples trying to conceive, and the added pressure of having to perform during a specific fertile window can have a big impact on the male libido. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can both work wonders on improving libido, for both partners.
Stress can have a specific impact on a successful IVF cycle, and it’s recommended to take steps to reduce stress as much as possible for this. You can read about stress and IVF here (please link to stress in IVF section).
In Chinese medical though, stress has a stagnating and delaying effect on the body. Because stress creates stagnation, it can lead to delayed ovulation and delayed menstruation. This can greatly impact your fertile window, as well as lead to a much more uncomfortable period. In fact, stagnation plays a huge role in a very large number of health issues that go far beyond fertility.
In summery stress can play an important role in:
- Delaying ovulation
- Delaying the menses
- Increase in PMS and menstrual pain
- Decreased libido
- Poor blood circulation
- Decreased response in IVF cycles
- Poor dietary choices, and unhealthy eating