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Can Stress Affect Your Ability to Conceive?
Joel Bernstien, MD posted:
Stress is almost universal. Whether from a single situation or you find yourself stressed out by work, family, relationships…Stress can't be avoided. Certainly, stress can take its toll on your body, both physically and emotionally. And research shows that there are levels of certain hormones that vary when people are under stress. But can these emotional and physical changes affect your ability to conceive?

Most often, the answer is probably not. Yet, extreme amounts of stress can result in unpredictable or absent ovulation. But there really is no medical literature supporting the theory that stress causes infertility.

The effects of stress really do not become a focus to those trying to conceive unless they are having a difficult time conceiving. When a couple starts trying, usually it is not a stressful process. In fact, it should be fun and exciting. However, the emotional roller-coaster of waiting to get pregnant -- and then the disappointment if it doesn't happen -- can be extremely stressful for any couple.

The advice I give to couples is to try your best to relax and enjoy the process. When it's time to seek professional help trying to conceive, don't hesitate to do so. But in the meantime, try different activities for releasing stress, including exercise, yoga, counseling, or meditation.

Do you feel like preexisting stress -- or the stress from trying to conceive -- may be having an effect on your ability to get pregnant? What has helped you relax and enjoy the process of trying for a baby?
Heather922 responded:
I live in an area where the winter just seems to drag on. It's about 5-6 months of cold dark weather. I know this has a big effect on my mood and energy. I'm hoping that the summer months will help me relax. We like to going on walks and hikes (not winter activities), and exercise can't hurt either.
SAkitty2011 responded:
I feel like the stress of TTC just makes my husband and I drift apart after we find that we are not pregnant (even though we hoped). When we drift away emotionally, it makes it harder to be close physically - obviously that is what is needed to make a baby TTC stress coupled with daily work stresses is not easy to handle especially as we live in a country that is so work driven that there is little time to do anything but recover from tiredness!!

I feel that getting away from the things that stress us (work and the place we live in) and going away on holiday helps. Also, new activities together help us get our minds off the stresses.

Goodluck to all TTC!
An_252367 responded:
Great, but can stress adversely affect maintaining a pregnancy especially in the very early stages?
sinama responded:
thankyou! i have had a miscarriage last year and my partner & i havent been trying to concieve till afew months back, but i get stressed out because i get dissapointed after every month. i have a normal 28 day cycle but i just dont know what is wrong with me!! im getting so frustrated,but i think il just get myself involved in stress release exercises and probably seek professional help.

thank you for the advise.

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