If you are trying to conceive, it can be difficult. We tend to believe that the stress behind trying to conceive is not a factor into why we are unsuccessful, but stress of any kind can make it difficult to become pregnant..
Our bodies are smart, so when we are under a lot of stress, our bodies decide it’s not a good time to be pregnant. At the same time, some outside factors can help your chances, such as changing your diet, exercise, and other wellness tactics.
But unfortunately, many of these circle back to your stress, making it one of the most significant reasons for your inability to conceive.
But why does stress make it hard to become pregnant? There are reasons that stress can cause infertility, and it is helpful to know these things before getting pregnant. So, here are some tensions within your life that could make getting pregnant challenging.
1. Your Diet
When you feel anxious or stressed, do you sometimes reach for comfort foods? Many times when people are feeling nervous, they tend to pick up unhealthy eating habits. With a lot of stress, many people will gain weight or become obese, which is linked to fertility problems.
Obesity and weight gain don’t just affect women who want to become pregnant; they can also affect men. Obese or overweight men tend to have lower sperm counts, which would make it challenging when trying to conceive a baby.
You can also be eating far too little, which can affect your reproductive process. Underweight women can sometimes not experience a regular menstrual cycle, which means they are not ovulating and won’t be able to get pregnant.
Try to take control of your nutrition and don’t attempt any extreme dieting or diet plans when working to become pregnant. Consult with your OB-GYN or a registered dietitian before taking on a fertility diet to ensure that you aren’t cutting out any necessary foods for your nutrition.
2. Alcohol and Caffeine
Though alcohol and caffeine can be part of your diet and nutrition, they beg their own attention. When you’re feeling tired or stressed, you may reach for caffeine to help you get going again. Stress can also lead to drinking alcohol to help ease your nerves.
Too much of either of these in your diet can harm your fertility. Women who drink a large amount of caffeine can also have a slightly higher risk of miscarriage or low birth weight. Alcohol can affect male sperm quality and quantity in men too. They can also experience reduced libido or impotence, so you shouldn’t let your partner drink too much.
Now, you can have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine here and there and it shouldn’t impact your chances of conceiving. But be aware that either of these in excess can cause problems. So when you feel stressed, you shouldn’t automatically reach for a drink. Instead, find other helpful ways to relieve your stress, such as going for a walk or taking deep breaths.
3. Getting Enough Sleep
Stress in your life frequently causes inadequate amounts of sleep.
Consistent lack of sleep affects your health, but it can also affect your fertility. In addition, sleep deprivation is a factor in obesity, leading to a risk of problems with pregnancy and miscarriage.
You may want to evaluate your work habits and lifestyle. Working an irregular schedule can cause unpredictable menstruation, which affects your chances of becoming pregnant. Some helpful tips for more effective sleep include:
- Sticking to a bedtime routine (same time every night).
- Avoiding screen time before bed.
- Meditation or a calming activity to help relax you before sleep.
If your mind is on the go, consider writing things down. Get a journal, put everything you’re thinking about on paper, and allow your mind to be calmer when going to sleep.
4. Too Little or Too Much Exercise
Exercise is excellent for your body and your mind; it can affect your diet, sleep, and, more importantly, your fertility. It also helps with managing your weight or helping you to lose weight if necessary. Think about taking up a yoga class or another low-impact exercise that can help you begin your health journey.
However, there is such a thing as over-exercise, which can also cause problems with fertility. If you’re trying to lose weight for a healthy BMI, you should attempt to work out regularly around three to five times per week. However, if you’re more of a gym rat and work out often, or every day, you can cut back a tad when trying to get pregnant.
5. Your Sex Life
When you are trying to get pregnant, sex is a significant part of the process. It can also be great for helping to relieve stress. However, if you have a busy lifestyle or are stressed about when to schedule it, the anxiety can lower your libido and make it challenging to do regularly.
Infertility also lowers libido since you’re having difficulty conceiving. So if you are planning sex during ovulation, you might want to stop trying to schedule and time it. Instead, aim to have sex a few times every week and not put too much pressure on it. As a result, you will feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Be Proactive In Managing Stress.
It can help to evaluate your attitude and lifestyle so that you can be proactive in managing things that may trigger your stress or anxiety when you want to become pregnant. Talk to your partner. If discussing getting pregnant is causing more stress, then take a break from it and do something fun together. For example, go out to dinner and a movie, or take up a cooking class or a dance class.
Your mindset plays a significant role in your response to stress, so understanding it is a big step in the right direction. Then, you can quickly pivot your mind or find some sort of stress-relief outlet that will help you overcome those pessimistic thoughts and reactions.
In addition, talk with your doctor. There may be other factors that can help you conceive. For example, if you suffer from chronic illness, you may want to look into phosphatidylcholine benefits before trying to become pregnant to help manage your pain and relieve stress.
Trying to have a baby can become a stressful journey. Don’t let the stress become overwhelming, and take a break from trying if you have to.
Don’t allow the emotional toll of trying to become pregnant to consume your life. Too much stress can cause many health issues. Hopefully, soon, you will start to explore some creative ways to tell your partner: I’m pregnant!