An Overview for Women Who Want to Conceive
We are sure it’s no secret to you that stress is a common experience in this day and age, and excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to many health issues, including infertility.
Today, we will discuss stress and how you can manage or reduce it to improve your overall health and optimize your fertility.
How Stress Impacts Fertility
When you experience stress, your body releases hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which are essential for survival. This made sense when we had acute stress in the past (like being attacked by a wild animal during caveman days and needing to flee). Still, our modern lifestyles lead us to have prolonged exposure to these hormones without much of a break. This leads to burnout.
Some of the most common symptoms of burnout are brain fog, low libido, weight gain, joint pains, and fatigue.
Stress can shut down the activity of the same axis that controls the reproductive system, causing delayed or absent ovulation and irregular or missed periods.
Preliminary research also suggests that increased cortisol levels can interfere with follicular development and ovulation. Still, we need more research to determine if the connection is direct.
Minimizing Stress to Boost Fertility
Although stress is common, the good news is there are some simple and effective ways to manage and reduce stress in your life. Two powerful and simple habits that can help can also be done at just about any place at any time – breathing and walking.
Can you believe that we often forget to breathe in our day-to-day lives? One of the breathing methods for stress reduction that we love to recommend is called 6-7-8 Breathing, which goes like this:
- Breathe in for 6 counts
- Hold for 7 counts
- Exhale for 8 counts
There is something magical about the combination of counting and breathing that lets you get present in your body and calm your stress response. If you’re experiencing a stressful situation, try this 6-7-8 Breathing technique for 1-2 minutes.
Walking helps you calm stress hormones, and it has the additional benefit of being a great way to maintain a healthy weight and control your blood sugar. Consider incorporating walking into your daily routine in one or more of these ways:
- Bookend your day with a walk around your neighborhood in the morning and evening.
- Spend a portion of your breaks during the day taking a walk around the block or your workplace.
- Take the stairs.
- Park towards the back of the store parking lot.
If you’d like to learn more about what it looks like to work with us, click here to watch our free, on-demand masterclass and discover the proprietary 4R Fertility FormulaTM we use to help you get pregnant naturally or get better results with IVF and IUI.
Meditation is one of our personal favorite strategies to manage stress. We recommend checking out the Clam or Headspace apps or looking for guided meditations on YouTube to help you get started.
If you can commit to doing this 10 minutes twice a day. It’s an absolute game changer for how you handle your stressors, react to others, and be more present in your life.
There’s nothing like a gratitude practice to help you feel positive and content about your life and give you a great frame of mind to conceive. Click here to read our article about Creating a Fertile Mindset, where we discuss gratitude in depth.
Functional Lab Testing
We’d be missing out if we didn’t spend a moment discussing the role functional lab testing can play in this journey of reducing the impacts of stress on your body. When we work with clients directly, we order specific lab tests that help us understand you and your body better, including how your body is being impacted by stress. Sometimes seeing this information in black and white can serve as a wake-up call for our clients.
If you want to get your functional medicine labs, we invite you to explore working with us. Click here to watch our on-demand webinar, where we reveal the 4R Fertility FormulaTM we use to work with our clients. If what we share sounds good, we invite you to apply for a spot in our high-touch, individualized group program.