Family & Children HealthThe Pregnancy › Infertility, IVF and Stress

In today's world, everyone is very concerned about performance, competition and perfection which leads to an insidious increase in stress. Stress causes damage that is often underestimated, and it is a social phenomenon that should be closely examined and evaluated. In today's modern, fast-paced society, it is easy for people to become stressed.

The trouble is that modern life is so full of frustrations, deadlines, and demands that many of us don't even realise how stressed we are. By recognising the symptoms and causes of stress, you can take the first steps to reducing its harmful effects and improving your quality of life.

It is not clear how exactly stress impacts fertility. It is not known whether high levels of stress can prevent pregnancy or affect a woman's chance of conceiving. We do know that reducing stress provides a better quality of life during times of intense personal challenge. Doctors may not know the exact links between stress and fertility, a series of studies shows the impact is hard to ignore. It is reported that stress may play a role in the success of infertility treatments, including in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

While stress does not cause infertility, infertility most definitely causes stress. Infertile women report higher levels of stress and anxiety than fertile women, and there is some indication that infertile women are more likely to become depressed. This is not surprising since the far-reaching effects of infertility can interfere with work, family, money and sex. Finding ways to reduce stress, tension and anxiety can make you feel better.

It is very difficult to say whether stress is causing infertility or infertility is causing stress. Both are interrelated.

Find out more in detail about fertility and infertility treatments at

The result of stress on our human body.

Stress can interfere with conception. Stress can affect the functioning of the hypothalamus the gland in the brain that regulates your appetite and emotions, as well as the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs. If you're stressed out, you may ovulate later in your cycle or not at all. In an occasional woman, having too much stress can change her hormone levels and therefore cause the time when she releases an egg to become delayed or not take place at all. Other research indicates that stress may have an impact on other aspects of fertility beyond ovulation, including problems with fertilization and implantation in the uterus.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the gold standard in the infertility medical world, acknowledges that stress probably does not cause fertility problems (although men and women with fertility problems are often highly stressed by the disease). ASRM also report that stress can sometimes cause hormonal changes, ovulation disorders, and infertility, but this is very rare.

Stress is just one of many factors that can contribute towards infertility but should always be taken into account for couples having trouble conceiving. This is especially the case if medical tests have shown no obvious explanations. The rates of unexplained infertility have been rising over the years, which is no surprise considering increasingly stressful lives. Stress can also lead to alcoholism, smoking, drug use, or compulsive eating, as people use these as a temporary escape. These are all bad habits that can lead to infertility through developing related medical disorders.

Impact of stress on Fertility

Sometimes, infertility patients respond to the stress of being unable to conceive by aggressively pursuing treatment and procedures. Other patients withdraw and isolate from family, friends, and community. Neither of these extremes is ideal for patients who seek to treat their infertility and build a family.

Being unable to get pregnant when you want to can be a huge source of stress, anxiety, and depression. Most people who cannot get pregnant have an actual physical explanation, but as month after month goes by, feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression often kick in. So even if the physical cause of infertility is treated medically say, surgery for endometriosis, problems with low sperm count and others, it's possible that high levels of stress can still make getting pregnant more difficult.

Infertility causes stress which is aggravated as time passes and the couple remains infertile. Among the causes of stress are the couple's isolation, life with unrealized potential and unborn child, disruption of day-to-day life during infertility evaluation and treatment, and the couple's feeling that they do not have control of their own lives. The IVF program is considered by many as the final step for the evaluation of the couple's fertility potential, hence, couples participating in an IVF program are highly stressed, especially after a failed IVF cycle.

All women trying to get pregnant, have a lot to deal with: taking time off from work for doctor appointments, having blood drawn, having pelvic exams, ultrasounds, injections, taking basal temperatures, timing intercourse and undergoing various diagnostic procedures. As if the cost and discomfort of solving the problems with fertility aren't enough, one also has to deal with being on an emotional roller coaster, a husband who may not participate in medical treatments, friends and family who make insensitive comments and social situations that are almost unbearably painful (like a baby shower).

It is very difficult to say whether stress is causing infertility or infertility is causing stress. Both are interrelated. 

Reduced stress is good for your health. While no one expects patients to approach fertility treatment stress-free, finding ways to minimise stress while pursuing treatment can help. It is helpful for patients to look for ways to reduce the burden of infertility treatments and medical protocols. Following are some practical ways where women trying to get pregnant can reduce their stress.

Talk to your partner.
Remember you're not alone. Talk to people with infertility, through individual or couple counselling, or support groups.
Read books on infertility, which will help you to be normal and can help you deal with them
Learn stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation or acupuncture
Avoid taking too much caffeine or other stimulants
Exercise regularly to release physical and emotional tension
Listen to music of your choice and relax
Plan medical treatment plans with your partner to which both of you are comfortable
Gather all information about causes of infertility and the treatment options available
Plan and arrange finances required for treatment and the possible insurance coverage

the connection between stress level and fertility outcome is very difficult to determine. Relaxing certainly won't do couples trying to conceive any harm, Reducing stress may be difficult, but meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques might help to reduce stress and conceive at the earliest.

"Don't just try to relax because you think that it's going to help you get pregnant. But do relax just because it feels good, because it's comfortable, and because when you do feel good, you're healthier overall, and that can never be a bad thing for conception."

"Stress could disrupt fertility, but it very rarely--if ever--causes people never to conceive."

The emotions around trying to conceive can be more challenging than the treatments for Infertility. Telling patients to be less stressed can make them feel more responsible for causing their own infertility and feel blamed. Telling someone to relax can cause greater stress. However, asking how couples/friends are doing and suggesting concrete and pragmatic ways reduce stress will enhance the quality of life and give the patient back some sense of control. For many struggling with infertility, just having friends/loved ones available for listening is greatly appreciated.

The goal of stress reduction is to minimise, not eliminate stress, by finding the technique that serves the patients needs the best. Rupal hospital for women in Surat is a clinic where patients satisfaction and care is prime subject. The doctors are very friendly and always supportive to patients in dealing with all types of infertility issues and provide all moral and psychological support. The counselling facility for couples is also available. Each individual patient is taken care of personally by well-experienced doctors and medical staff. We try to help patients acknowledge the stress they are carrying around and help them find ways that work for them to make the stress manageable. We offer patients a wide range of support services, including support groups, online communities, resourceful articles and stress relieving tips. We provoke them to participate in mind or body relaxation programs which have the skills to reduce stress at every stage of the cycle.

For any help relating to infertility and fertility treatments including male and female infertility, you can book an appointment with doctors and experts at Rupal Hospital for Women. We are also available at

Article By: Rupal Hospital for Women

Comments On Infertility, IVF and Stress

Be the first one to comment on this article!

Your Comment
Your Name
Your Email

Your Email will not be shown with your comment

Secret Number

Please type the numbers shown above into the Secret Number box.