A growing number of women are turning to mindfulness and meditation techniques to help them de-stress, relax and move through the infertility experience with more ease. I know from first hand experience the benefits of the mind body approach. I was blessed to have discovered this method and and have it work so successfully. I have seen this same result in other women and am confident in saying this can be a very useful tool for women who suffer from infertility, and the stress and anxiety that comes with it.
Trying to conceive can be extremely stressful for couples. This is especially true once a couple has tried to conceive for a while with no success. However, it is important to manage stress while trying to conceive, both for your health and for the strength of your relationship. Many individuals stop drinking while trying to conceive and may feel as though there aren’t many things they can do socially. Nothing is further from the truth. There are a number of things you can do for stress relief while trying to conceive.
The study, led by Dr. Courtney Lynch, followed 501 couples for up to 12 months as they tried to conceive. The women’s saliva was tested for measures of stress biomarkers, and results showed that higher levels of stress are associated with a longer time to pregnancy and an increased risk of infertility.
Recent research has been conflicted about the role of anxiety and depression in pregnancy outcome. Some studies looking at Mind-Body programs have shown women to have higher pregnancy rates who did the course compared to those who were simply on a wait list. Other larger analyses of studies have not shown much improvement.
Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, July 14, 2015
“Infertility is a direct cause of stress,” says Dr. Jane Frederick. Infertility treatment such as IVF can monopolize your day-to-day life and affect your interactions and relationships with your partner, your family, friends and co-workers. Having to schedule sex can take away the spontaneity and pleasure, making sex seem more like a chore.
Frederick, Medical Director of HRC Fertility in Newport Beach, CA, encourages her patients to find ways to reduce the stress of infertility treatments. Here are her top tips:
Dr. Courtney Lynch’s study on the link between stress and infertility was the keynote lecture at the ESHRE annual meeting in Lisbon this week. Dr. Lynch is the Director of Reproductive Epidemiology at The Ohio State University Medical Center. Her research, published in Human Reproduction in January 2014, determined that, “Women who had the highest levels of stress actually took 29% longer to get pregnant compared to other women, and their risk of infertility doubled.”
I have treated thousands of people trying to conceive and I can say that stress won’t affect the results of your treatments or hinder your success but it can make you feel worse and cause unnecessary emotional stress. I have found through the years that many of my patients feel they must do certain things that bring about stress including attend baby showers or go to lunch with pregnant friends. I can tell you that it is important while going through infertility to attempt to limit exposure to things that cause you to feel sad or hopeless.
Going through infertility is stressful, there are no qualms about it. The good news is that we can actively alter the way our bodies respond to stress. Imagine you have your very own personal apothecary that is available at your disposal 24 hours a day. Yes you! You can actively calm your system and reverse the stress effects of infertility.
A blog by Anne Belden, MS, PCC, March 13, 2015
What can you do to manage the effects of infertility-related stress when trying to conceive? Learn how to elicit the Relaxation Response - the body's inborn capacity to reduce stress.