Pregnancy / Childbirth

Stress and fertility

Stress and fertility



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Physical, mental and emotional stress accompanies us at many stages of life and manifests itself in many different ways. Not necessarily with very difficult changes, such as job loss or illness, but when experiencing even a slight discomfort: standing in a traffic jam or unpleasant behavior of a partner during the morning meal.
Nature thought this perfectly, creating an interesting response to stressful situations: fight or run. In the face of danger, the body mobilizes all resources to achieve one goal: survival. The problem begins when our body and mind are bad at assessing what is a big threat and what is not. Then stress affects us destructively. It also reduces our fertility and the chance of getting pregnant.

How does stress affect fertility?

Stress situations cause excessive production of adrenaline and cortisol. This in turn translates into reduction of follicle stimulating (FSH) and lutropin (LH) production, and consequently also testosterone, progesterone and estrogen levels: hormones that affect egg maturation, fertilization and implantation. Read: pregnant hormones.

Chronic stress can stop ovulation (and menstruation) and reduce sperm production.

Although the topic of the effect of stress on fertility is still being studied, it is certain that in stressed people the number of conceptions is much lower than in those not exposed to it in such a fundamental way. The chance of conceiving significantly decreases, and at the same time, as a result of chronic stress, the risk of early miscarriage increases.

Scientists conducted an experiment in which they intentionally subjected the monkeys to stress. As a result, 10% of the monkeys stopped having menstruation. After the source of stress ceased, the animals began to menstruate again. A similar effect was obtained by forcing the monkeys to exercise intensively or limiting their meals. Something else was interesting: subjecting the monkey to both mental and physical stress caused that menstruation it stopped in 75% of them. Scientists argue that the effect is similar in humans.

Impact of stress on male fertility

The effect of stress on male fertility was investigated in Turkey by examining sperm from student volunteers. It turned out that at a time when young men were stressed just before the exams, sperm quality was lower, as was sperm count and motility compared to samples taken later, when stress was over. Fortunately, when the stress subsided, the problem with sample quality and fertility also.

Lower immunity

As a result of stress, especially elevated cortisol, the immune system is also disturbed: which increases the chance of infection and abnormal immune responses.

Some facts

  • animals in captivity breed more slowly than in the wild, which is related to the level of stress and the assessment of external conditions conducive to reproduction,
  • Social reproduction suppression is a stress response that suppresses fertility. This is because the areas of the brain that are responsible for feeling stress and regulating fertility are quite closely related.
  • people's responses do not differ significantly: they are similar in every area of ​​the world. During the war, the number of births decreases, as in periods considered a threat: in crisis, periods of economic slowdown, etc.

Therefore, if there is no other medical obstacle, and the desired two lines do not appear, it is worth checking if our body is not overloaded, and in life there is a lack of harmony: which can effectively reduce the chance of conception.