How Stress Affects Your Fertility And What You Can Do About It!
Oct 03, 2016
Stress we can’t escape it!
We all live busy hectic lives.
The idea is not to run away from our stress, but find ways to cope with it!
Its how we chose to deal with the stress that will have the biggest impact on our health and fertility.
Let’s talk about the good and the bad!
We’ve all experienced good stress.We feel excited for a first date, the final preparation for our wedding day, the exhilarating feeling of bungee jumping, the thrill of training for the marathon!
Good stress can help with focus, reaching goals and can even boost memory.In short bursts it can even improve our immunity.It can also protect the body from infection and improve how the heart works.
Then we have the bad stress!If you’re reading this right now, you’re probably experiencing infertility!Going through infertility can be extremely stressful.Studies have found that the psychological affect of infertility only adds to stress levels.Dealing with infertility plus, the stress of every day life such as work deadlines, crazy traffic and toxic relationships can make us feel overwhelmed!
All this stress negatively impacts our hormone levels!
When the brain perceives a threat (and stress is a threat), it starts to flood the body with chemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. Cortisol affects the sex hormones and can lead to hormonal imbalance.
There are different types of stress too!
These all impact the body’s ability to get pregnant.
This type of stress comes from over exertion due to a vigorous workout.Also being very sedentary can cause physical stress on the body too.Even a pinched nerve or a repetitive strain injury can also cause physical stress.
Our daily routine could be creating a toxic mess in the body.Toxins from personal care products, cleaning products, Electro Magnetic Frequency (EMF’S) from phones, laptops, and WIFI, pollution, pesticides and herbicides all negatively impact the endocrine system and are a form of environmental stress.
Bio Chemical Stress
This type of stress may go unnoticed for years.That’s why Functional Testing is so important to determine which are the next best steps to improve health and fertility. Gut infections and other underlying conditions can place additional burden on the body.These include long-standing infections such as parasites, fungal overgrowth and food sensitivity.
Our body can have a number of reactions to these different stressors including:
Here are some tips that will help you cope with these stressors:
This is a big one!We always recommend getting at least 7-9 hour of sleep per night.This is part of the rest, repair and restore that our body needs to stay healthy.If you make only one change, focusing on your sleep is critical.Check out here for how to start a sleep ritual.
Even getting five (5) minutes per day of meditation can help to reset our body.Deep breathing exercises can be very helpful too.Simply closing your eyes and focusing on the breath can bring a sense of calm as well.Remember that thoughts are normal when you are practicing deep breathing or meditation.Let the thoughts come in and then let them slowly go.One of my favourite websites is www.calm.com.
Getting outside for some fresh air is very restorative to the mind and body.Even sitting by a window and letting the natural light into your eyes, can help to reset the circadian rhythm (make sure you do this first thing in the morning to for the best results). Going for a walk in the grass (even taking off your shoes and walking barefoot and connecting to the earth can be very restorative).Walking outside and listening to the sounds of nature such as the birds and feeling the sun on your face can be very beneficial.
We all know that exercise is important!Thirty minutes per day is best. Although, when you are trying to conceive, vigorous exercise is not recommended.Start by incorporating gentle movements into your daily routine.This is especially important if you are working in a sedentary job.Set a reminder to get up every hour so you can keep the blood flowing and moving.Try some light stretches and shoulder rolls too!
Drink plenty of purified water.Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Make sure at least one meal per day has veggies (try adding kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, swiss chard). Organic is always preferred! But, if that is too difficult or costly follow the Dirty 12 and Clean 15 list.The dirty dozen are the most contaminated foods and organic is always the best option.The clean 15 are not as contaminated so choosing non-organic can be an option.
6)Personal Care Products
Vinegar and baking soda are great to clean with, but if that’s just too old school for you, try switching to a natural dishwashing liquid such as Dr Bonner’s.
8)Support The Liver
The liver plays an important role in detoxification!In Traditional Chinese Medicine the liver is most strongly affected by our emotions, especially anger, irritability and stress.So let’s support the liver!Add in some teas such as milk thistle or dandelion tea
9)Take your Vitamins
Add a good prenatal vitamin such as Thorne Basic Prenatal. Join the Fab Fertile Support Group to get your FREE Fertility Supplement Guide. Prolonged stress can negatively impact your adrenal glands (the adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney.They produce sex hormones and cortisol). To support the adrenals consider taking Vitamin C.You can take (1000 mg – taken in divided doses – in the AM and PM).
Thanks to Brandy Buskow, Functional Nutrition Practitioner for her recommendations and suggestion on how to cope with the stress.
Need a second opinion? Book your FREE Supercharge Your Fertility Discovery Session here!
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!
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