My wife and I are trying to get pregnant and wonder if stress can be a factor in why it’s taking so long.
Stress can have a big impact on our lives — including our ability to get pregnant. The relationship between emotional stress and fertility is complex. Stress can certainly wreak havoc with normal ovarian function but experts speculate it could affect fertility in other ways, such as altering the immune system. Stress is a fact of life — the secret is learning how to handle it. According to a study from Harvard, relieving stress may help some couples conceive.
Researchers studied 184 women who had been trying to conceive for at least one year to see if stress reduction improved the success of conventional infertility treatment. The women, who were all taking fertility drugs, were divided into three groups: one third practiced relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation or guided imagery; one third participated in support groups and talked about coping with infertility; and the final group served as controls. After one year, 20 percent of the women in the control group had conceived. But in the same year, over 50 percent of those who practiced relaxation techniques or participated in a support group were pregnant.
The results are encouraging, but remember: The relaxation techniques were combined with conventional treatment. Since you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year it’s time to see your doctor. Try to learn why you haven’t conceived and take steps to correct any problems that might exist. In the meantime, do what you can to reduce the stress in your lives, and find ways to handle daily stress.