Staying Encouraged while You’re Trying to Conceive
For many couples, the process of trying to conceive is stressful. It gets frustrating to try month after month, only to be disappointed. If we’re not careful, we can even turn the fun part of trying to conceive into a stressful chore.
It’s not unusual for it to take time to conceive a child. Even if you time your fertility cycles perfectly, have sex regularly during your fertile period, and don’t happen to have any fertility issues, you only have about a 25% chance of becoming pregnant in any given month.
So, you might as well relax and have fun with the process.
The Relationship between Stress and Infertility
Doctors believe that up to 30% of infertility cases are stress related. Doctors haven’t positively identified a reason why high stress inhibits conception, but they do have a few ideas, including:
- Reduced desire for sex which often accompanies stress
- Increased hormonal levels while stress, especially cortisol and epinephrine
- Stress is believed to reduce blood flow to the uterus
- Stress is believed to inhibit ovulation, reducing the number of eggs produced by as much as 20%
Stress can reduce your chances of conception whether you are using natural means only or using fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Conversely, reducing your stress can improve your chances of conceiving a child.
Effective Stress Reduction Treatments for Women Trying to Conceive
When you are trying to conceive, you should be careful about the types of medications and medical treatments they take for stress reduction as some medications can be harmful to you and your baby, should you become pregnant.
It’s easy to say, “Just relax.” It’s a lot harder to do it, especially when you consider the emotions that go along with trying to become pregnant for a long time. Stress reduction methods which many women find effective and which do not pose a danger to you or a developing baby include:
- Taking short breaks throughout the day
- Massage therapy
- Moderate exercise
Enjoying the Process
While reducing stress is not a guarantee that you’ll become pregnant, it does improve your chances significantly. Perhaps just as importantly, it can help you enjoy yourselves while you’re in the process of trying to have a baby.
If you’ve done what you can to conceive for six months or longer, consider seeing your health care professional to see if there are any medical reasons why you have been unable to conceive. Most causes of infertility are medically treatable and simply knowing what’s causing infertility can go a long way towards reducing your stress.