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Becoming a parent isn’t always easy. It can even be a challenging experience, with unsuccessful attempts and overwhelming emotions. Sometimes getting pregnant takes a lot of effort, which can bring a lot of stress into a couple’s life. Find out with Barza how stress affects fertility and pregnancy and how you can manage stress to increase your chances of conception.
On the importance of emotional health
Being medically fit is necessary but not sufficient to get pregnant. Emotional health can play a decisive role, and a harmonious couple relationship, a balanced lifestyle and positive thinking contribute significantly to a successful pregnancy.
Stress in pregnancy can have a negative impact on the health of the mother, as well as the unborn child. It is normal to experience a certain amount of stress during pregnancy, as this is a time of significant physical and emotional change. However, constant high levels of stress can have negative effects.
How thoughts and emotions affect fertility
The psyche is called upon by personal worries, negative thoughts, upset or emotional trauma. All this leads to stress, and chronic stress can have a negative impact on the female and male reproductive system.
The hustle and bustle of modern life, with more and more things to do and seemingly less and less time, combined with disappointments and emotional distress, sometimes creates an environment that is hostile to conceiving a child.
In women, stress can affect ovulation and cause menstrual cycle disorders such as amenorrhoea or irregular periods. In men, high levels of stress can reduce the quality and quantity of sperm produced, thus affecting fertility.
Hormonal imbalances affect both women and men. In women, they can affect the vascularisation of the fallopian tubes, which makes it difficult for the fertilised egg to attach in the uterus. At the same time, a high concentration of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, can reduce women’s ability to produce healthy, fertilisable eggs.
At the same time, men can have problems producing sperm capable of penetrating the egg.
Influence of stress on conception
Conception can be difficult under chronic stress. People who experience constant stress may experience a decrease in sexual desire and libido, which can lead to reduced frequency of sexual intercourse.
In addition, stress can also affect the quality of the couple’s relationship, creating tensions and difficulties in communication, which can negatively influence the desire to conceive.
Study: chronic stress can delay onset of pregnancy
Chronic, long-term stress can delay the onset of pregnancy, according to a scientific study conducted in the UK at Oxford University. In research, it was found that women who faced intense stress on a daily basis had a harder time getting pregnant.
This study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, reports on research involving 274 medically healthy women aged 18 to 40 who wanted to have a baby and were striving to get pregnant.
By analysing the concentration of stress-related hormones in saliva, the researchers concluded that there was indeed a direct link between higher stress levels and difficulty getting pregnant.
To increase your chances of getting pregnant, a Barza ovulation test is useful. It detects the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, so you know when is the best time to get pregnant.
Stress during pregnancy – effects on mother and foetus
Stress during pregnancy can have serious consequences for both the health of the mother and the unborn child.
Impact on the mother
Chronic or intense stress can affect a mother’s health. It can contribute to:
- increased gestational blood pressure;
- sleep disturbances;
- digestive problems.
Stress can also influence the mother’s behaviour through the adoption of unhealthy habits, such as excessive consumption of unhealthy foods, smoking and alcohol consumption.
Chronic stress can also increase the likelihood of developing mental disorders such as depression or postpartum anxiety.
How stress impacts the development of the foetus
Maternal stress can affect the development of the unborn child. High stress levels:
- may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight and long-term behavioural and emotional problems in the baby;
- can influence the child’s immune and hormonal system during intrauterine life and even later.
How to manage stress during pregnancy
Stress management is essential to protect fertility and ensure a healthy pregnancy. Here are some suggestions for dealing with stress effectively:
- Adopt relaxation techniques: Practice deep breathing techniques, meditation, yoga or other relaxation exercises to reduce stress levels.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Pay attention to a balanced diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise to increase the body’s resistance to stress.
- Create a supportive environment: Establish a social support network, share emotions and concerns with people you trust, including your partner.
- Reduce stressors: Identify the stressors in your life and try to find ways to minimise or avoid them as much as possible.
- Seek professional help: If you feel that your stress level is overwhelming and interfering with your daily life, seek support from a mental health professional or counsellor to help you cope.
Conclusion – How stress affects fertility and pregnancy
Stress can have a significant impact on fertility and overall pregnancy health. It is important to be aware of the delicate link between stress and the ability to conceive and its effects on foetal development. By managing stress effectively and adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can increase the chances of conception and ensure an easy and healthy pregnancy.