We all know that stress can have negative effects on your health but did you know that stress might have an effect on your fertility as well. Several studies have suggested a link between stress and male infertility.
Research has shown that stress may lead to a decline in testosterone, a hormone needed for sperm production. It also suggests that men under stress may have poorer semen quality. That means that sperm cells aren’t well-formed and could have trouble swimming and fertilising an egg cell.
While stress is difficult enough, the situation can become worse if you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a while.
Fertility treatment is complex. You and your partner are likely having emotional ups and downs, sometimes in a short period of time.
It’s easy for us other to say to try and “relax” as that is one of the key ways to increase your chances of conceiving.
Here are some stress management strategies that may work for you:
- Put a positive spin on it. If you can, reframe the way you view a problem. Is there a way to turn a negative into a positive? Can you break down a problem into small steps and handle them one at a time? Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can.
- Try perspective-building activities. Built into disciplines such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi, are exercises that help put the challenges of everyday life into perspective. These activities might help release you from the thought patterns that can lead to unproductive stress. Even just listening to music you enjoy may help transport you to a place where you can view challenges from a fresh perspective.
- Participate in activities you enjoy. When you’re involved in activities that bring you joy, it also helps put stress in perspective. Fun activities has the effect of pushing stress-inducing thoughts to the side. It’s important to find out what brings you peace and happiness and incorporate it in your routine.
- Take care of your relationship. You and your partner are a team. Providing the support to your partner that you would hope to receive from her helps you each shield one another from stress-inducing events.
- Take care of yourself. It’s easy to let self-care slide when you’re feeling stressed. Make sure you’re eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising. Exercising regularly is a good way to manage anxiety and depression. It’s important to limit your use of alcohol or recreational drugs because they have a harmful impact on your physical and emotional health over time and can themselves become stress agents.
- Ask for help. Understand that you may not be able to do everything yourself and there’s no shame in asking for a hand.
- Reach out to others. Confiding in a trusted friend or relative may bring comfort, and that person might have insight for dealing with a stress-inducing problem that would otherwise been unobtainable. Support groups, where you can share insights with others experiencing similar challenges may also help.
- Seek help from a professional. Therapists can help us see our lives with a new perspective. If you find that your stress levels are escalating or tough to manage, seeing a therapist is a wise choice. An objective third party can make suggestions you might not have thought of.
We can’t guarantee that stress management will improve fertility, but taking good care of yourself during this difficult time will produce benefits for you and your partner. Together, you’ll be able to handle what comes next.
To find out how we can help you, contact us today.