Does stress really affect TTC? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-03-2005, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really starting to wonder if all the anxiety of ttc for the last few years has made a difference in our Not conceiving yet. Has anyone had experience with giving up and getting pg? grasping at straws now...

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#2 of 10 Old 06-03-2005, 03:23 AM
 
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I DEFINITELY think stress affects ttcing.
In 2002 when we were trying to conceive #1, dh found out that he would lose his job at the end of the year. Here in Germany being unemployed is a terrible thing, as it's not very easy to find a new job (not much job market flexibility and all that). For six months he went to interviews all over Germany and France, and then was offered a job at a company where he was doing a project. He signed the contract on October 16. Two weeks later I was pregnant. By that time we had kind of given up on getting pregnant w/o some sort of help and were looking into acupuncture, shiatsu, yoga and fertility clinics as solutions.

My parents had the same story - for 5 years they tried to have a baby, but no dice. They made an appt at a fertility clinic, went on a vacation in Europe for three weeks, and BINGO! I was conceived.

Of course, it#s really hard not to get stressed out about ttcing. We're trying for #2 right now, and I find it hard not to think about it regularly.

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#3 of 10 Old 06-03-2005, 12:04 PM
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NO.

Stress may affect the ability you have to have sex when are supposed to, your mood and relations with your partner, and your health. It may affect the peripheral things.

But stress will NOT keep you from getting pregnant....wouldn't that just be the best brith control in the world?? :LOL If stress was what kept you from getting pregnant then I have friend who would never have conceived, women would never get pregnant as a result of rape, women in war torn countries would not get pregnant, hell, slave women in the South would not have gotten pregnant. I mean really....logically it makes no sense.

To say it is simply stress belittles infertility, or other problems, and it places all the blame on the woman. Nothing is more hurtful that telling someone who is having trouble conceiving to "relax".

While there is anecdotal evidence that if you go on a vacation and relax you conceive, that is all it is. That also may be the best timing, or you and your partner may be connecting and have time for sex at the right time. Going on vacation isn't gonna get you pregnant if you aren't gonna get pregnant on your own. Just like all the people who say "Oh once you adopt you will get pregnant" Adoption isn't a cure for infertility....you know?

However....that being said...if you are so stressed if you get sick, then obviously that is gonna affect your ability to get preggo. Or if you partner gets sick....

But no, I don't think that stress is going to keep anyone from getting pregnant.

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#4 of 10 Old 06-03-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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I agree that stress *alone* is not going to cause infertility, BUT the mind and the body are connected, and if there is anything going on with the body, adding stress into the mix CAN affect it.

I truly do believe that if you are stressed, it can affect your fertility. It ALONE can't cause infertilty, but it can contribute, in BOTH partners. Reducing your stress level isn't a guaranteed way to get pregnant, obviously, but reducing your stress HAS been proven to be beneficial to your health. I know for a fact that when *I* am stressed it affects my monthly cycles, and obviously that means it's affecting my hormones.
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#5 of 10 Old 06-03-2005, 12:48 PM
 
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Actually, I think it really varies by person and their emotional/psychological make-up. For example, I was just reading about PCOS and the stress component, and the fact that cortisol levels can influence production of the “precursor” hormones: those that are responsible for hormones that we’re all familiar with: progesterone, etc.

Also, there is increasingly an awareness of the mind/body connection, as in the documentary “What the *&^% Do We Know?”

Adina, I totally relate to the hurtfulness of people telling me to relax. AS IF that’s going to get me pregnant.

But in my own experience of healing, which coincides with my most intense ttc period, I have clearly seen the effect of my core beliefs about my health and my life affecting my fertility and much more. For me, stress reduction is not synonymous with relaxation, though the latter is a component.

Well, this was a simple question for a specific situation: not dealing with infertility. So, in response to that, I think that one of the hardest things of ttc is to have the peace of mind, the certitude and the patience that can play such a huge part in waiting for that bfp. Who knows how each of us responds physiologically to the changes and chances of our lives? As we have seen, Western medicine is sorely lacking in its comprehension of the total health of people.

, peace in our minds and hearts, and LOTS of babydust...

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#6 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 02:11 AM
 
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I believe that stress does affect it. The best (and most extreme) example I have is of a friend who had a child, 10 years later wanted another w/ DH #2. They tried for a couple of years, then did IVF for several cycles, then decided to take a breather. She cut way back on caffeine and went on Valium for a bit to deal with job stress, and got pregnant in the second month with no interventions. Not that I am recommending Valium, but she was so much less tense and I really think it made a difference for her TTC and so does she. It can't hurt to use some relaxation techniques to stay mellow during this period. I nap when I can, do yoga, etc.
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#7 of 10 Old 06-05-2005, 05:33 AM
 
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I slightly disagree with those that say stress cannot keep you from getting pg. I understand what they are saying. If you are ovulating and you are having sex, then stress will not keep the egg from being fertilized or keep the fertilized embryo from implanting. However, stress does affect hormone levels which, in turn, can affect whether or not you ovulate and when. If you have enough stress to keep you from ovulating or that makes you ovulate at strange times so that it's difficult to time sex accordingly, that could contribute to not getting pg. Also, following the same line of thinking that stress affects hormone levels, it could possibly affect your progesterone levels and inhibit your body's ability to sustain a pg. Think of it this way. Your body determines your state of being by reading the signals it gets from the chemicals produced by your body. If everything is fine and good, your body will produce just the right balance of hormones and it will be optimal for you to produce offspring and you will ovulate in hopes of that end. However, if your hormone levels are out of whack, your body could interpret this as meaning this is a less than optimal time to produce offspring and you will try to protect you and any future offspring by suppressing ovulation.

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#8 of 10 Old 06-05-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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Interesting reading. I don't know much about it, but do know that I had the longest cycle of my life because of some stressful events in my life this last month. Twice my body geared up to ovulate eggwhite and all then it didn't happen. I ovulated almost 2 weeks later than normal. I think that stress and probably the unhealthy way I deal with it helped keep my body from ovulating like I should have this last month.
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#9 of 10 Old 06-06-2005, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies....I appreciate all the input. I think part of my problem is obsessing about getting pg every month. I tend to overdo it. I also drink too much caffeine and have put on more weight in the last few years and have hypothyroidism....BUT...what scares me is I went on clomid a few years back for two cycles and didnt get pg.....so who knows.....I'm glad this board is here...for support....

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#10 of 10 Old 06-06-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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I think stress plays a part when you are ttc. When my dh and I were trying to get pregnant with our 1st we tried for a year and then decied to stop trying for awhile. The same month we stopped trying I got pregnant.
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