It’s no surprise to us: the results of a recent study lend further evidence that stress has a direct tie to infertility.
On a basic human level, it seems inevitable. If our bodies are in constant fight or flight mode, cortisol and alpha-amylase are inevitably going to be elevated. Interestingly, research showed that cortisol, while the hormone most commonly associated with stress, wasn’t as much a factor. The real marker appears to be alpha-amylase, which is a digestive protein found in saliva. The study found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase took 29% longer to get pregnant.
Still, doctors remind that stress alone won’t cause infertility.
“Women who are doing everything they can to get pregnant are often told by well-meaning people, ‘If you would just relax you would get pregnant,’” says Dr. Suleena Kansal Kalra, an infertility specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. “That can be very counterproductive.”
While a myriad of other factors can come in to play, it’s a prime opportunity to address stress in day-to-day life. Dealing with infertility is challenging enough, and making time in the day to treat yourself well must be a priority. It doesn’t need to be time consuming, either – focusing on common sense self care like a solid night’s sleep, eating whole, unprocessed foods, and getting in 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise truly can ease tension and help us naturally focus on the positive.