A woman was waiting for her turn in a fertility clinic when a poster on the importance of mindfulness suddenly caught her attention. She was trying to conceive for over two years but was losing out the child in the second semester. She was quite stressed about it because she didn’t know what actually led to that outcome. She eagerly signed up for the mindfulness program, thinking it will help her to decode the issue. Yes, mindfulness has become an integral part of everyday living when times are full of uncertainty and fear. As per Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, New Delhi, stress is not only resulting in grave mental health issues but also leading to many reproductive and fertility issues. Fertility experts around the globe swear by mindfulness that includes yoga, meditation, and learning behavioral techniques like overcoming negative thoughts for the better outcome of their treatment.
The science behind stress and fertility
- Studies have shown that the surmounting stress in a woman's life is affecting their chances of getting pregnant.
- Our body also understands the level of stress and that’s also one of the reasons that it alters the chances of conceiving because periods of stress aren’t the good times to have a baby.
- Moreover, it has also been observed that a stressed-out woman gets intimate less often.
- This behaviour further deteriorates the odds of getting pregnant.
- Stress hormones such as cortisol disrupt signaling between the brain and the ovaries, which can trip up ovulation.
Thus, lowering stress with group therapy, individual cognitive behavior therapy, and relaxation techniques like guided imagery helped some infertile women get pregnant. When we practice mindfulness the gap can be bridged, leading to positive outcomes.
Expert Tips To Tackle Stress
According to CDC, about 1 in 10 women of childbearing age have trouble conceiving or having an uneventful pregnancy. And, when there is no conception after months, stress kicks in. This is the moment when the mind/body program helps. It aims at curbing that stress through several approaches including talk therapy, where one can challenge automatic negative thoughts like, "I’ll never get pregnant,” or blaming oneself for everything.
Physical activity is essential for lowering stress and boosting fertility. Working out moderately, for example, 1 to 5 hours a week of activities like walking raised the odds of conception. At the same time, women who worked out more vigorously were less likely to get pregnant.
The biggest downfall of stress is we tend to eat more for emotional comfort. Being overweight or obese makes it harder to get or stay pregnant. Some research suggests that women who are obese maybe three times more likely than other women to have trouble conceiving.
During our stressful times, we tend to take comfort in processed, sugary foods. But studies have proven that women who follow a Mediterranean-style diet rich in whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, fish, and soy are more likely to conceive than those who eat a high-fat, heavily processed diet.
Stress is bad for overall wellness including mental and physical health. It can not only impact your psychology but also fertility. If you take unnecessary stress, it can obstruct your fertility and cause problems in conceiving. Also, this can even lead to infertility issues in some people. Take precautionary measures to relieve stress and lead a healthy life.
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