Stress and Infertility: Not Linked! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 04-17-2013, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have recently found some resources that suggest that stress does NOT decrease chances of conception. Major stressors like going hungry (too low body-fat percentage stops ovulation) or a miscarriage (can change the cycle for a few months) can have big impacts, but the general, everyday stress that most women feel when trying to conceive (did I ovulate? am I pregnant yet? can I eat that? can we have sex again tonight, honey? But I'm so tired! Argh! SO STRESSFUL! oh no, stress is making everything worse! Stop stressing out! THIS IS HORRIBLE!) does not negatively affect chances of getting pregnant. It's pretty normal from what I can tell, and the feedback loop of constantly being told that it's your own fault for not conceiving is maddening. Please remember that anecdotes are not evidence!

 

Here are my sources:

http://www.asrm.org/Stress_and_Infertility_factsheet/

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/doubl...tween_them.html

 

My take on it:

http://prismaticglasses.blogspot.com/2013/03/infertility-is-not-your-fault.html

 

The first is a significantly more reliable source, but the second points out the problems with all the studies that get touted as "proving the link". This information helped my stress level a lot. I still haven't conceived, myself, (and the goal now is to wait until summer, but I'm not being too careful, so who knows what will happen) but the process continues with far, far, far less stress than I've gone through in the last four months with my early loss, crazy cycles, and fear that it was all my own fault. I felt so strongly about it, and it helped me so much, that I wrote a series of blog posts about why it's so damaging for this myth to be continued. I haven't seen the accusations fly on this board like I have on others about how stressed out women are doing it to themselves, but I figure the wider the information can be spread the better. Let me know what you think!

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#2 of 6 Old 04-23-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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Thanks for the info....interesting.

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#3 of 6 Old 04-24-2013, 08:00 PM
 
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This makes total sense to me! I just got my first BFP ever after 2.5 years TTC, and I was extremely stressed out this month compared to other cycles so clearly the stress didn't prevent me from getting pregnant!


Me (32), married to DH (35)

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#4 of 6 Old 04-25-2013, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valdara View Post

I have recently found some resources that suggest that stress does NOT decrease chances of conception. Major stressors like going hungry (too low body-fat percentage stops ovulation) or a miscarriage (can change the cycle for a few months) can have big impacts, but the general, everyday stress that most women feel when trying to conceive (did I ovulate? am I pregnant yet? can I eat that? can we have sex again tonight, honey? But I'm so tired! Argh! SO STRESSFUL! oh no, stress is making everything worse! Stop stressing out! THIS IS HORRIBLE!) does not negatively affect chances of getting pregnant. It's pretty normal from what I can tell, and the feedback loop of constantly being told that it's your own fault for not conceiving is maddening. Please remember that anecdotes are not evidence!

 

I've recently been reading about exersice, bodyfat, and hormone disruption (amenorrhea, LH pulsatility). It appears that it is energy imbalance, rather than body fat percentage, that causes athlete amenorrhea. My notes (and source) are below.

 

 

Quote:

Exercise Training in the Normal Female: Effects of Low Energy Availability on Reproductive Function

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-62703-314-5_11#page-1

“The body composition hypothesis was the most widely publicized explanation for menstrual disorders in athletes in the lay community and the most widely embraced by the clinical community, even though it was the least widely accepted within the scientific community.  [Followed by citations of several articles that shows body composition is probably not the mechanism.]”

 

“The revised position stand emphasized that energy availability can be severely reduced by exercise energy expenditure alone without clinical eating disorders, disordered eating, or even dietary restriction.”


Married to my favorite man in '07. Our firstborn came along in April 2012 (HBC), and our second is on the way, due sometime in May 2014 (planning an HBAC).
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#5 of 6 Old 05-04-2013, 09:17 AM
 
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Thank you for posting this.  It helps me to feel more positive and not to get stressed out when there are times of (sometimes inevitable) stress in my daily life.  Who wants to stress out about being stressed out?!?  I also try to remember that although, yes, it's great to encourage calm and happiness in TTC, there are lots of babies conceived in times of turmoil and, so, maybe my body can do that too!

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#6 of 6 Old 05-07-2013, 10:38 AM
 
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Totally agree with this. I was ttc for 3 years and had a lot of work stress the month it finally happened. I was really beginning to resent the "relax and it will happen" comments because it inadvertently put the blame on me for not being able to conceive.

New mama!
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