How to handle stress and the adverse effect it has on fertility
The World Health Organisation (WHO) did conducted a survey that found that in developing countries, one in four couples battles with infertility, with stress as a common cause.
This is higher than in first world countries due to a lack of medical and reproductive support. In many instances, medical support would be able to assist with the fertility issues. Statistics show that 30% of infertile couples are diagnosed with this condition. That means that there is no medical explanation for the problem and this leaves many people with a sense that their body has let them down.
STRESS AND INFERTILITY
Looking at stress is only one factor that can impact on fertility, yet when one is diagnosed with fertility issues, the process in itself can cause stress and affect the outcome of fertility treatment.
Therefore, paying attention to anything that can deter from the fertility process is worthwhile.
Stress can affect fertility. Image via Adobe Stock
When stressed, the body works to produce increased levels of cortisol, which manages stress in the body. In the short term, cortisol is great. It increases blood sugar in the bloodstream and enhances the brain’s use of glucose. It increases the availability for substances to repair tissues.
So, when your fight and flight response is triggered, and you run away from the lion that is about to eat you, this incredible hormone plays the main role in stopping digestion, and making energy available for quick-thinking and running away.
And in a life-or-death emergency you want the support that cortisol will give.
The trouble starts when you are in a long-term stressful situation. When you start responding in this manner to someone cutting you off in traffic, for example, or financial pressure and work deadlines.
We all know modern life is not perfect. The French philosopher Jacques Ellul wrote that technology should serve humanity and not sustain it. And we all know how that turned out for Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber.
Knowledge is power, and in knowing that long-term stress has an impact on your progesterone and testosterone levels you can actively pursue methods and support that can reduce stress levels.
Progesterone is a precursor to cortisol. When cortisol increases, progesterone levels decrease. You can find that ovulation is disrupted, blood sugar regulation is interfered with, depression and irritability can develop and memory and blood pressure can be affected.
The correlation between fertility issues and stress has been confirmed through many studies and one of the techniques helping to combat this is mindfulness.
Alice Domar Phd, executive director for The Domar Centre for mind/body health runs a 10-week course teaching Hatha yoga, meditation and behavioural techniques addressing how to overcome negative thoughts.
In a study she did in 2000, it showed that women who had undergone cognitive behavioural therapy were twice as likely to fall pregnant than those who hadn’t.
WAYS TO HELP COPE
Moderate exercise, meditation, mindfulness techniques, decrease in consumption of alcohol, or no alcohol and coffee, will all support your fertility process.
Homeopathically, finding the total picture and addressing it with the correlating remedy will be the typical course of action.
If you can’t get to a homeopath, consider liver support to manage oestrogen dominance like Febro 2 by Natura or Liver 4ch by Pegasus. Balancing and supporting the hormonal system, consider Nervorta by Natura and for stress reduction consider Nerva 2 and Nervuton 2 by Natura.
Food supplements like Amla (Indian gooseberry) to lower elevated blood sugar levels and support liver function, barley grass and chlorella can be considered.
Supplementally, consider folic acid, acetyl L-carnitine a good multi-mineral, vitamin D3, flaxseed oil and co-enzyme Q10.
Essential oils associated with fertility support include clary sage, frankincense, ylang ylang, rose geranium and lavender oil.
Orange can help with fertility. Image via Adobe Stock
The colour orange is associated with fertility. It combines the colour red which signifies love and energy with the colour yellow, which signifies happiness. A way to use colour to support your fertility process would be to wear orange or sit under an orange light.
Always talk to your health care practitioner, tell them what you are taking and doing in addition to their treatment. This will allow for a holistic approach and eliminate the doubling up of medication or taking medication that contraindicates with another.
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