Reducing stress is proven to increase your chances of conceiving. Read more for tips on how to do just that!
With 1 in 6 couples struggling with infertility, it’s unfortunately a very common issue. We’re still fairly private about making babies so it’s not something we often talk about, but something we really should!
Infertility can be an absolutely devastating period in a couple’s lives. It’s notoriously stressful with month after month of disappointments and couples are left searching for answers and trying everything they can to get pregnant.
Common strategies include a fertility friendly diet, acupuncture and cutting out alcohol, caffeine and toxins. It can be a dizzying time where fertility becomes all consuming and you are eliminating some things, trying new things and still trying to carry on with ‘normal life’.
The backdrop to all of this is STRESS!
Does stress impact infertility?
In short, yes. It’s now well-accepted that stress does impact fertility with high stress rates linked to lower pregnancy rates or lower IVF success rates. Some studies have even proven this to be by up to half – women with high stress levels are half as likely to conceive.
When you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s the last thing you want to hear. Your infertility is stressing you out, but you know you need to reduce your stress, so how do you get out of this vicious cycle?
Reducing stress to help you get pregnant
The exciting thing is that stress is something you can work on and change. You can’t eradicate it completely of course, but there are proven stress-reduction strategies you can employ to help you.
It’s not as simple as ‘Just relax’ like everyone says, you need active strategies and often some support to help you find what works for you.
Tip #1 - Breathing
Relaxation is key and this can start simply with breathing – several deep breaths can quickly elicit your body’s natural relaxation response. The key is to breathe deeply and slowly filling your abdomen and then exhaling for longer. It’s actually the long exhale that really changes things.
Breathing can be used as a quick fix in stressful situations and also as a daily practice to reduce the impact stress is having on your body. Using a guided meditation or relaxation track can help you by instructing your breathing and also optimizing your body through the mind-body connection and the amazing power of visualisation. (See more info here)
Tip #2 – Mindfulness
Mindfulness is another great way of de-stressing. By focusing on the present moment, rather than the past or worries for the future – you can bring yourself some of that elusive peace of mind. It’s not easy, but well worth practicing as it can really help you connect more with your life right now and the special people in your life.
Tip #3 – Self Care
Finally, taking care of yourself whilst on a fertility journey is key to keeping the stress at bay. Self-care is so important and can help keep you up, even when times are hard.
It’s like filling up your emotional bank account – you can’t keep taking out and out – sometimes you have to stop and put some credits in. This could be simple things like reading, walking, a bath or yoga or it could be something more active like getting creative, visiting a show or going shopping. Self care is a really personal thing.
Take some time to identify what works for you and plan in some time regularly to give some love back to yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
The last word on stress
Unlike other factors affecting your fertility, stress is something you can do something about but you don’t have to do this alone.
Reach out to family and friends; join a local infertility support group or seek specialized support for the emotional side of your fertility journey. Your Fertility Hub offers just that! It’s a unique online hub of information, downloads and practical tools to support you to find your way through and out of infertility.
Join us at www.yourfertilityhub.com for insight, inspiration and group/121 support.
You can do this. You are stronger than you know!!!
This guest post was brought to you by Karenna Wood
Karenna is an international fertility coach and founder of Your Fertility Hub. She is a passionate advocate for more emotional support for women going through infertility and an expert in using mind-body tools to optimise health and fertility.