While speaking about the lifestyle reasons that cause infertility, it is very important to take into account a major issue that is becoming part of just about everyone’s life in today’s world – STRESS. Modern lifestyle has become quite stressful and this has causes disruptions in almost all aspects of life and as far as its effects on infertility is concerned, stress and infertility go hand in hand, setting off a vicious circle that only draws couples and families into whirlpools of frustration and depression.
The effects of stress on women is so bad that women who are unable to conceive show levels of stress, in terms of anxiety and depression, equivalent to that in women suffering from cancer, HIV and heart disease.
How Stress Affects a Woman’s Reproductive System
The most common effect of stress in women is that it disrupts the hormonal communication between the brain, the pituitary, and the ovary. The neurochemical changes that one experiences under stress interferes with both the maturation of an egg and the ovulation process. The several important chemical messengers involved in reproduction are disrupted. There is a direct link between the brain and the reproductive tract and nerve fibers connect the brain directly to both the fallopian tubes and the uterus. The autonomic nervous system influences the ovary’s ability to produce healthy eggs and hormones. For example, when a woman is under stress, spasms occur in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which can interfere with the movement and implantation of a fertilized egg.
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How Stress Affects a Man’s Reproductive System
As for a man, both physical and emotional stress affects his fertility. Stress alters sperm count, motility, and structure and problems such as impotence and difficulties with ejaculation are often caused by the emotional distress in men.
Sleep Deprivation and Insomnia
Lack of sleep is also indirectly a cause of infertility. When sleep cycles are deeply disturbed under stress, people fail to get restful sleep. Consequently, sleep deprivation and insomnia alter the daily rhythms of several hormones involved in reproduction and fertility, in turn contributing to infertility.
The Vicious Circle
This circle goes both ways: stress affects infertility and infertility affects stress. Stress makes one less fertile by affecting the hormones and reproductive organs. The consequent failure to conceive creates further stress, leading to further loss of fertility and so on, creating a vicious cycle. Women unable to conceive go through loss of self-esteem, depression, anger, and anxiety over disappointing their partner and facing familial and social stigma. As for men, they end up feeling guilty, doubting their “manliness,” eventually facing issues in relationship and decreased sexual activity. Once the focus turns to making a baby and not making love; tracking ovulation and fertile periods, it takes all the fun and spontaneity out of sex. It stops being enjoyable and becomes a matter of pressure. What results is frustration and dashed hopes every month with the onset of periods, often leading to marital conflict.
At Itoozhi Ayurveda’s Center for Reproductive Medicine, we not only treat infertility, but also take into consideration, the harmful effects of stress on fertility and provide options for de-stressing and putting your life and love back on track. Today Itoozhi Ayurveda is one of the leading ayurvedic hospitals in India. Feel free to contact us to know more about our Ayurvedic Infertility Treatment and Reproductive medicines.