How much does stress affect my chances of conceiving with fertility treatments?
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 2 years. I am 35 years old and find my workplace very stressful. We want to try fertility treatment but I’m worried that my stress will adversely affect our chances.
Thanks for the D2D. Stress is inevitable in modern society, and especially so in a place like Singapore. We know from research that prolonged or chronic stress is bad for health, be it fertility or mental health or even general well-being.
We have to acknowledge that it is impossible to eliminate stress completely, but by learning to manage it or reducing the level of stress, the impact on health may be quite remarkable.
In the field of subfertility, stress is known to affect menstrual cycles, cause ovulation irregularities and occasionally egg quality too. This is very clearly seen in ladies with polycystic ovaries, or in those with anovulation (difficulty in producing eggs regularly), where certain periods of stress may lead to delayed menses or altered menstrual flow and volume.
Examples of these include delayed menses during stressful exams, trying to meet month-end sales targets or after a tiring and hectic overseas trip.
In short, stress does affect fertility but the effects can be reduced or overcome through life-style changes and techniques to cope with stress. Medical therapy can also help in the meantime to improve your chances of conception while you are coping with stress, hence you may wish to try both methods concurrently.
Stress affects the ovulatory process. If you do not achieve an ovulation, there is no way you can get pregnant in that cycle. That is why managing stress levels in life is very important for achieving fertilty.