Stress & Infertility in Women

How does stress affect infertility?
For many couples, infertility, is a lifestyle condition that is accentuated by various lifestyle factors and choices. Stress is now one of the most common factors that is inducing infertility. As an increasing number of women become more career-oriented, as jobs become all-consuming, and there is now-more-than-ever relationships stress – it all combines to make perfectly healthy women, without any underlying causes, find it difficult to conceive.

Research has shown that people who get less than five hours of sleep are more likely to suffer from obesity, and obesity can lead to problems with fertility. Increased stress also leads to decreased libido which in turn reduces the opportunities to conceive.

Stress also heightens various other health issues that have an indirect impact on a woman’s physical and sexual health. All these factors put together; stress is a very real and increasingly common condition causing female infertility.

When can stress lead to difficulties of conception?
In some cases, stress in itself may not be the cause of the problem, instead stress may lead to behaviour changes that could lead to infertility. For example, if your work schedule or lifestyle leads to frequent late nights with early wake-up calls, the constant lack of sleep can affect your body, and hence, affect your fertility. Working in odd shifts and irregular shifts also affects infertility.

How to identify stress that can cause infertility?
Infertility can be identified with the following symptoms:

  • Excessive or inadequate sleep
  • Excessive binge eating
  • Inability to focus
  • Excessive drinking
  • Increased smoking, or starting to smoke
  • Decreased libido

How to overcome stress to aid fertility?
Overcoming stress isn’t just a clinical factor, it requires lifestyle changes as well. It is important to want to de-stress. Create a good and balanced routine for yourself. Learning to switch off from working and giving yourself some personal time is also helpful. Indulging in a hobby, taking a short vacation are some of the other factors that help.

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