How Stress Lowers the Chance of Getting Pregnant

Sad couple in bed

Well, just like rising cortisol levels associated with stress can have effects on our body, including weight gain, we are finding more and more that lifestyle, diet, and genetics can play a big role in how our body functions.

Just because we can keep track of menstrual cycles, estimate when we ovulate and time sex for the appropriate moment….we expect the egg to be available. But that doesn't mean we will be successful in getting pregnant. This is something you have all experienced over and over. In fact, most couples find that once they stop trying, give up, go on vacation, relax, forget about it, they get pregnant. Now why is that? Well, there truly is a lot more to it than you may think.

We know that smoking, alcohol intake, and diet can affect ovulation and sperm count. Just like certain foods can increase sperm count, so can abstaining from alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use increase sperm count and help with ovulation.

Zinc plays a positive role in female fertility by promoting proper cell division, a process critical to the earliest stages of conception and fetal development. Similarly, in male reproduction, zinc may well be necessary for adequate testosterone levels and sperm counts. Oysters, chicken, beef, crab, cashews and turkey are all good sources of zinc. And avocados are a great source of folic acid, which has been recognized as being important in healthy pregnancy for years.

But I suggest you look up all the different foods and how they can improve your chances of getting pregnant. The newest breakthrough has been a saliva test that tests for alpha-amylase which, like cortisol, can be a stress biomarker in our bodies. When this is present in high amounts, women are unable to achieve pregnancy. In fact, it decreased their chances more than 31%.

I know it's hard to be calm when you are wanting to get pregnant and start a family, but honestly I think there is just way too much information out there for young women today. Most of us were conceived by accident, but now with our high tech world, we seem to make even getting pregnant high tech. We think if we follow a certain formula, push these certain buttons, we should get pregnant. When it doesn't happen, our disappointment comes and we start to worry and begin to think we must be doing something wrong……or maybe something is wrong with us.

So our stress levels rise and that causes chemicals in our body to release and further interfere with our ability to get pregnant. That is why, once we stop trying and relax, most couples do get pregnant and some couples even adopt a baby and then get pregnant after years of infertility treatments!!

There might be something to all this, and our bodies have been trying to tell us this for a while - as we see a lot of disease that comes from stress like ulcers and headaches.
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