Everyone has their own unique pathway to pregnancy. For many individuals struggling with infertility, it can be an emotional rollercoaster filled with grief, disappointment, and stress. For others, it can be a stressful full-time job that has robbed lovers of their spontaneous intimacy. Conceiving shouldn’t be a full time job-nor should it take an emotional toll on you or your partner. Stress doesn’t impede pregnancy and it is particularly important for couples and individuals to learn about the relationship between fertility and stress.
Types of Stress
Daily stresses will always play a significant role in our lives. However, the level of stress can vary depending on how it is interpreted or experienced. Regardless of the intensity, there are two types of stresses – external and internal.
Internal stresses are related to our emotions. While it is normal for humans to experience an array of feelings, bottling up your emotions for a prolonged period will not only impact psychological well-being but physical state as well.
External stresses derive from factors not related to one’s self. This includes environmental toxins, occupational pollution, quality of drinking water and chemical compounds in food, which can negatively influence an individual’s mental and physical state.
What Does Stress Do To Your Body
Until recently, Western medicine failed to acknowledge the effects of stress on the human body, particularly to the reproductive system. While the correlation between stress and fertility remains inconclusive, some reports have found that an overactive stress response can negatively impact fertility.
Internal and external stresses can both trigger your body’s fight or flight response system. This means that your body will generate a message to your brain that a stress or danger is nearby. These signals will move positive energy away from your reproductive organs to protect itself. As a result, your body’s energy is tied up with protecting itself, and there is little to no energy remaining for growth or reproduction. Thus, heightened stress levels will pull you further away from achieving a healthy balanced state of mind. This will ultimately create disharmony within your mind, body, soul, and ability to conceive.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspectives On Stress
Fertility challenges are stressful. It can induce anxiety, sadness, and fear. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), stress creates disharmony and disturbs balance. This in turn, will hinder your ability to achieve a healthy balanced life and will heighten your stress levels. Overtime, increased stress levels will negatively impact your vital energy, deplete your Qi, and stagnate your life force. Ultimately, this can disrupt your natural ability to conceive.
Stress is not a permanent state of being. We have the ability to influence our health. Not only by how we choose to live our lives but how we perceive our thoughts and stresses in life. Rather than merely living through your daily stresses and allowing them to take over your life, learn to limit your external and internal stresses.
Check out my article to learn more about the TCM approach to overcome stress.