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6 Ways Stress Causes Infertility in Women and Men

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Stress and infertility

It is not fully clear if stress causes infertility or makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant. It absolutely depends on who you ask or which study you read. Some studies have found stress makes it harder to get conceived while some other scientists state it has no effect at all. In this article, we will discover the relationship between stress and infertility.

Although the information and studies can be conflicting there are several women who have had trouble getting pregnant due to stress factors. Because of stress, women tend to have unhealthy behaviors which ultimately makes it harder for them to get pregnant and these behaviors have proven to impact fertility.

Here Are 6 Ways Stress May Cause Infertility

Stress and infertility

  1. Sleep

There was a study completed in 2019 that involved over 22,000 pregnant women that were between 8 and 22 weeks. Out of the women that worked at least two-night shifts in a one week, it was discovered that there was a 32% increased risk of miscarriage in the week after they worked. It is believed that fertility is also affected when women work nights or what’s considered the graveyard shift. According to research, women are more likely to experience obesity when they sleep less than five hours per night. This in turn increases their risk of having a miscarriage or pregnancy problems. If your lifestyle includes very early wake up calls or working frequently at night, then you will most likely have problems becoming pregnant. Some women that work night shift experience irregular menstruation which has been known to be a risk factor for women trying to get pregnant. Women should try various things to improve their sleep habits such as the following:

  • Stick to a bedtime ritual
  • Keep your bedroom TV-free
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea just before bed
  • Do not work just before going to sleep
  • Avoid any activities that will stimulate your mind.
  • Only drink caffeine in the morning
  1. Caffeine

Since we’re discussing caffeine, we should discuss if it affects fertility. A lot of women use coffee to help them get through their day or when they are feeling a little stressed or tired. There was a study that suggested if you are already having fertility issues, two much coffee containing caffeine could have a negative effect. The research was done on couples who first went through IVF treatment and then tried to conceive naturally afterwards. It showed that a couple chances of conceiving were reduced 26% when drinking four or more cups of coffee per day. In 2016 there was a study done that found a link between caffeine intake and miscarriages. Study observe that they were more likely to experience a miscarriage when their partners drank more than 200 milligrams of caffeine. Once again there is a conflict in studies because despite all the research, some of the studies failed to find a connection between fertility and caffeine. It is best to go with the advice of your provider.

  1. Alcohol

let’s talk about if it’s OK to have just one glass of wine when you’re trying to conceive. Most people have heard that drinking is a big no-no if you want to get pregnant. When fragment women consume four or more drinks in one week they are at and increase risk of miscarrying according to a 2019 study. There’s no amount of alcohol that has been proven to be 100% safe in pregnancy according to the March of Dimes. If you were trying to get pregnant you should seriously consider not drinking prior to conceiving and after your pregnancy. As far as the man is concerned drinking has a negative impact on sperm count. There was one study that evaluated the effects of alcohol consumption on IVF success where they found the number of still born children was increased by two to eight times.

  1. Smoking

When men or women smoke it can strongly impact fertility and it is a bad habit to begin. You may feel like it is going to help you with your stress, but it is causing every cell in your body to be stressed and unhealthy. When women smoke, they have an increased risk fallopian tube blockage, cervical cancer miscarriage and damaged eggs in the ovaries. On the other hand, when men smoke there, it is possibly an increased risk of miscarriage, and it decreases the odds of success during IVF treatment. There’s also research that shows secondhand smoke can impact fertility. It makes it harder to get pregnant if you are a smoker or around smokers so beware of your surroundings.

  1. Diet

It seems to be human nature 2 eat unhealthily if you are stressed out which is why people under constant stress usually gain weight and sometimes become obese. Obesity has been linked to fertility problems which makes it harder to get pregnant. There are some people that get stressed out and have a loss or appetite or diet to lose weight instead of overeating or eating unhealthy foods. There are studies that show being overweight even slightly or underweight can both affect fertility in men and women. You can get amenorrhea, or your menstrual cycle can stop and that means no ovulation. You need to ovulate in order to get pregnant! It is recommended to avoid any diet plan that eliminates an entire food group and any extreme changes if you are trying to get pregnant. It is important to have a balanced diet with healthy fats, protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains.

  1. Exercise

According to EU S Department of Health and Human Services adult should regularly engage in anywhere from 150 to 300 minutes of exercise per week and 75 to 150 of those minutes should be intense exercise. Having a regular exercise routine will keep your body healthy and lower your stress. You need to be sure and have balance because one could get too much exercise while trying to get pregnant and this can negatively affect fertility. There was a study that showed a 30% lower chance of having a successful live birth after IVF when women participated and regular cardio workouts such as running, aerobics or swimming. it’s great to work out but if you are in love with the gym you may want to cut back on a lot of the cardio until after you are able to have a healthy baby.


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