Is there a connection? Yes there is, and no there isn’t. Both claims had been found to be true over the years and if you do just a little bit of research you’ll soon realize that scientists change their mind about this all the time. Which is fine. Here is my insight to what I’ve learned over the years.
Setbacks and difficulties are unavoidable parts of our lives. They are part of being a human being. However we feel a sense of disappointment when something that we wanted or hoped for doesn’t materialize. We have a tendency to get emotionally involved and take these setbacks as a personal failure. Difficulties that women and men experience with fertility affect them on a personal level more than anything they have ever experienced.
Cortisol which is a stress hormone is also a sex hormone that affects sperm count in men and ovulation and menstrual cycle in women. Not all scientists seem to agree, but many studies in the world have shown that stress affects fertility. One study shows that social stress and nutritional stress experienced together can create infertility. Combing the two and perhaps include all the other things that create stress in your mind, the impact of these can be large.
Important thing to learn from this study is that sometimes when we are trying to eliminate the stress the thing that we do to achieve that, may act as a stressor. So when you are already stressed and the next thing that comes along that supposed to relieve stress, actually acts as stressor.
Some studies in the UK have shown evidence that stress does affect our ability to reproduce however there appear to be some exceptions. Women clearly do continue to conceive in harsh conditions of poverty and war. What this study shows is that our social position, age and lifestyle are also associated with our reproductive system.
One of the most recent studies shows (2015) that the effects of chronic stress on fertility persist long after the stress is gone. This is because a hormone that suppresses fertility, GnIH, remains high even after stress hormone levels return to normal. This is very important to understand for those who have been trying to conceive for a long period of time.
What are the stressors that cause infertility?
Let’s start with what stress actually might be. We have been using the word ‘stress’ for many years now and most of us believe that it is a reaction to an outside stressor. It may surprise you, that the word ‘stress’ comes from engineering and it refers to describing strain on the structure. It actually isn’t precise and clear what stress is.
What seems to be very clear is that stress isn’t something that is out there! It is what we make of things that occur in our lives that cause us to be stressed. We can call it an imbalance that occurs within us.
So stress isn’t a thing that we can take out of our lives. We can’t remove stressors from our lives. We can of course improve our lives by doing what we love, by moving into a nicer neighbourhood but there always will be things that can potentially make us feel stressed.
The difference that makes the difference is this: We all experience the world around us differently and we should never invalidate the way we feel. Your feelings are true and real and you should never shame yourself for feeling stressed or bad. What you need to do is to realize how you feel and explore the roots of your feelings. Use your rational mind to examine the events that make you feel stressed. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t feel the way you feel. Secretly explore how you can look at the situations that cause you to be stressed, differently.
What you are experiencing every day that you think causes you stress is not the reality. It is your perception of the world that you are experiencing. It is important to realize that it is your response to a life event, not the event itself that triggers your reactions. If two people are exposed to the same unpleasant event, this event may have no effect on one of them and can leave the other person traumatized. It is what we make of things.
I do have a follow up to this one….so keep an eye on me 🙂
Have a good day