Stress and Pregnancy: How Stress Relates to Getting Pregnant

Stress and fertility: Can stress cause me not to get pregnant?


Trying to conceive with no success can be emotionally draining and result in stress. Unfortunately, stress can cause problems in conception.

Stress affects the functioning of your hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a gland in the brain that regulates your appetite, emotions and the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs.

Essentially, this means that if you are stressed out, you may fail to ovulate or do so at a later stage in your cycle. If you are trying to conceive, you are probably having sex around day 14 because you think that you are about to ovulate, you may miss the opportunity to conceive entirely.

How does stress affect getting pregnant?

Extreme stress pushes us to unhealthy habits that can cause infertility

Stress does not cause infertility directly, but it can push you to unhealthy and un-baby-making friendly lifestyles for example:

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Emotional eating and neglecting a balanced diet
  • Inactivity and lack of exercise
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much coffee

You may be wondering how these habits can affect your fertility. This is how:

Stress, sleep and getting pregnant

The constant lack of sleep from early mornings and late nights can affect your body and hence your fertility. People who have less than five hours of sleep are more likely to suffer from obesity which may lead to fertility problems. Getting adequate sleep improves your chances as you are trying to conceive. Therefore, you should cultivate healthy sleeping habits.

Stress, emotional eating, and fertility

It is common to find stressed out people feasting on unhealthy snacks and foods with a lot of calories. Emotional eating can lead to weight gain, in turn causing obesity. There have been links between obesity and fertility problems for both men and women. This because the level of sex hormones stored in the body’s fat cells affect the functioning of the reproductive system. For example, an excess of estrogen prevalent in obese women leads to the shut down of the reproductive system.

Extreme dieting and your fertility

Trying to conceive while eating less will cause you infertility problems. Dieting in order to cope with stress can end your menstrual cycles. This is because the fat cells store fewer amounts of sex hormones, estrogen and increase production of hydroxyestrone, an anti-estrogen. This hormone results in a shut down of the reproductive system. Underweight women can stop menstruating altogether. Without ovulation, you cannot get pregnant. Aim for a balanced diet.

Alcohol, coffee, and fertility

Women who have more than alcoholic drinks have a lower chance of getting pregnant and high risk of miscarriage. There has also been a considerable link between consuming a lot of caffeine and infertility.

Stress and sex

Stress creates exhaustion and lowers your libido. Therefore, it can get in the way of having sex, the only way to get pregnant. It is not enough to have sex once or twice a month if you are trying to get pregnant

We can, therefore, conclude that stress makes it difficult if you’re trying to conceive. It may also lead to an unhealthy lifestyle with consequences that do not favor getting pregnant.


How to Reduce Stress While Trying to Conceive?

  • Read and get more information about the conceiving process, remember – knowledge is power!
  • Don’t give up your life and focus only on trying to conceive, you must keep doing the things you used to do and love daily.
  • Take a break if you need to relax and clear your mind.
  • Practice Yoga or Meditation – this way you can listen to your body.
  • Ask for support – talk with a good friend or one of your family member that is close to you, find a support group or go to professional psychological support.
  • Spend some time outside and do fun activities – that can help you to reduce depression and anxiety.
  • Workout – exercising is one of the best stress relievers.
  • Spend some romantic and quality time with your partner, avoid making the getting pregnant process from being too much technical!
  • Get a relaxing massage.
  • Make Lavender bath to relax – Believe it or not, the smell of lavender can promote quick stress and anxiety relief. In order to relax, mix 5 drops of Lavender oil in your bath and enjoy yourself! Here you have a high-quality Lavender oil that I personally use.
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