The effect of stress on a woman’s reproductive system differs in individual cases. While some women’s bodies are extremely stress-sensitive, others are not.
By Pooja Duggal
Stress has taken over our lives and women’s wombs as well, according to reports. Infertility due to stress has become so commonplace that medical experts have created a name for it—Stress Induced Reproductive Dysfunction.
This syndrome affects some individuals, particularly women, who develop reproductive dysfunction due to significant stress. It’s believed that stress hormones like adrenaline, catecholamines and cortisol can inhibit the release of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), a hormone responsible for the secretion of sex hormones. This may adversely affect a woman’s ovulation cycle. Moreover, it has been proven that our body is equipped to prevent conception from occurring when it is extremely stressed or burned out. This is probably because stress is bad for the foetus, and our body knows it.
A study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford further establishes a connection between high levels of stress and reduced chances of pregnancy. The researchers found that women who had higher levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that correlates with stress, found it harder to get pregnant than women with lower levels of the substance.
“Overall, about 25 per cent of women in the study, exhibiting the highest alpha-amylase levels, had roughly an estimated 12 per cent reduction in getting pregnant during each cycle in comparison to women with the lowest concentrations,” commented Germaine Buck Louis, director of the NICHD’s Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research.
Certainly, the effect of stress on a woman’s reproductive system differs in individual cases. While some women’s bodies are extremely stress-sensitive, others are not. Some women have no difficulty conceiving even under traumatic conditions, while for others, the ovulation cycle plays havoc even under minor everyday stresses.
Well, whether you’re stress sensitive or not, keeping stress at bay is important for healthy pregnancy.
Here are some tips that can help you fight stress and make sure that the little one blossoming in you has a calm environment in your womb.
Personally, yoga calms and energises me at the same time. Practising yoga daily helps you fight stress and hormonal imbalance, both of which can cause complications in pregnancy. Sukhasana, Balasana (Child’s pose), Savasana are easy to practice and are extremely helpful in relieving stress.
You might not be aware of this, but your diet along with having an effect on your physical health also has an effect on your mental wellbeing. Gorging on foods high in sugar, salt, and fat can entrap you in a vicious stress cycle. Take a well-balanced diet to maintain good physical and mental health.
Take it easy
Seriously, you need to stop being serious all the time and trying too hard. Sit back and relax. It will happen when the time is right.
Attend expert talks
With all the health related content floating over internet, it has become very difficult to filter the fake details from authenticated facts. Thus, it has become pertinent to regularly attend expert talks and health events as it provides an opportunity for the layperson to hear directly from experts on health issues impacting us all.
(The writer is Founder Healthhunt & Future of Wellness.)