|Stress and infertility|
Infertility and Stress
“You're just trying too hard. You’re too stressed out, relax and it will happen.”
If you are trying to get pregnant you have probably heard this advice from family or friends.
Can stress cause infertility?
Probably not. Infertility is very stressful, but there isn't any proof that stress causes infertility. Researchers have looked at the effect stress may have on infertility treatments and the news is reassuring. A meta-analysis of 14 studies was recently published in the British Medical
Journal. These studies included 3,583 infertile women. The results support the view that emotional distress, for example feelings of tension, worry or nervousness caused by the infertility treatment or other life events are unlikely to affect fertility treatment outcomes.
Can infertility cause stress?
Absolutely yes! Infertile women report higher levels of stress and anxiety than fertile women, and there is some indication that infertile women are more likely to become depressed. Studies show many women who are being treated for infertility have as much stress as women who have cancer or heart disease. The effects of infertility can interfere with work, family, money and sex.
What can I do to decrease my stress?
Talk to your partner. Take time to remember what you value about your relationship. Relationships have many positive aspects besides reproduction. Consider your companionship, emotional support, making a home together, sharing leisure activities, and building a financial future.
When should I seek professional help?
It may be hard to know when emotional responses to the pain and frustration of infertility are within normal, expected range or are excessive and problematic.
If you are experiencing any of the following feelings, you may want to see an infertility counselor or therapist:
Our infertility team can offer support and compassion. We know this is a difficult process.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Retrieved 4/15/2010 from: http://www.asrm.org/topics/detail.aspx?id=1738
Burns, L.H. When to seek professional help
Retrieved 3/36/2010 from: http://www.resolve.org/site/PageServer?pagename=cop_mis_sph
Boivin, J. Griffiths, E. Emotional distress in infertile women and failure of assisted reproductive technologies: meta-analysis of prospective psychosocial studies, British Medical Journal, 2011;342:d223
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 June 2011 )|