Our bodies don’t recognise the difference between being switched on all day, to being under threat – like being chased by an attacker.
Our bodies go into fight or flight response and release the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.
This sets off our natural defence systems.
They flash with a warning signal that screams “BODY UNDER ATTACK, NOT SAFE TIME OR PLACE TO CREATE A BABY”.
Stress also reduces blood flow and lack of blood flow around the uterus can prevent implantation.
High cortisol can also prevent the implantation of fertilised eggs and can reduce sperm count in men.
Stress and stress hormones can affect fertility in the following major ways:
- Impair the follicle health and development. Stress reduces the secretion of estrogen from the follicle which reduces the thickness of the endometrium and the fertile mucous.
- Can reduce the secretion of progesterone from the corpus luteum in the luteal phase, and thus affects implantation. Stress can cause luteal phase defect (a luteal phase shorter than 12 days).
- Can affect the surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland which is responsible for stimulating ovulation.
Increases prolactin secretion by the pituitary gland, which inhibits ovarian function.
- Can affect the part of the immune system responsible for preventing miscarriage in early pregnancy.
- Negatively impacts many other health concerns which may impair fertility, such as thyroid health, autoimmune conditions, allergic conditions, PCOS, endometriosis, and gastrointestinal concerns.
Studies have shown that “infertile” women who used mind/body techniques have a 42%-55% conception rate.
A study in California of 151 women at various fertility clinics showed the amount of stress the women were feeling influenced the number of eggs retrieved and fertilised. More interestingly, the women who were feeling hostile, angry and depressed resulted in the fewest amount of eggs fertilised. The women who were feeling optimistic about conceiving, had the most eggs fertilised.
Stress can also affect the blood flow to the uterus, which can result in problems with implantation.
Mind-Body techniques can help lower stress levels, which in turn can balance hormones, and positively influence egg quality and implantation. The massage techniques will also help to get the blood flowing to the uterus again.