It might seem a catch 22 to say stress and infertility are linked survival instincts, when without reproduction long term survival is negated. However, your body didn’t evolve to make reproduction its first priority – short term survival is paramount.
And the human body still very much operates like it did 10,000 years ago when the main aim was to run away from the saber toothed tiger. You see, in earlier times, nature, wisdom, health and life were synonymous.
All creatures lived in alignment with the cycles of nature and the energy flows of the universe. As life has evolved to the modern day, humans have gotten further and further away from our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual foundations.
In survival mode or in situations that requires the body to adapt in any way, the body focuses all its energy and nutrients into the most important organs and systems to ward off immediate danger and it shuts down other systems that are not essential for the task.
The body has a little internal conversation and it agrees that immune function isn’t all that important during a fight or flight situation because the little bug inside isn’t as much of a threat as the one running after you! So digestion, can also be shut down because after all is it not really vital in the grand scheme of things since if you’re not running away you will soon become food! And finally it asserts that the very LAST priority right now is to have a baby, therefore shut it down twice—the priority is survival!
So under stress the body begin to shut down non vital functions and aims to refocus on those functions once it has an opportunity. Although due to increasing demands it’s hardly ever able to resume its proper metabolic functions to 100% capacity.
When you live in a continuous state of high stress, inadequately nourishing and nurturing yourself, your reproductive organs don’t receive the energy and nutrients they need to function optimally, particularly as we age.
Optimising your fertility and increasing your chances of having a healthy baby demands balance in all areas to restore your body’s innate functions. This optimises your natural, intrinsic fertility by specifically pinpointing contributing factors that ordinarily diminish your chance of creating a healthy conception, and increase the risks of miscarriage and congenital abnormalities as well as premature and stillbirths.
What is vital for you to remember is that your fertility isn’t “out there” as a magic cure to be given to you by the doctor or other practitioner treating you. It’s inside, tucked within your body’s own internal wisdom, waiting to be released when coaxed properly in a relaxed way.
So how can you increase your chances of a healthy conception?
Scientific research presented to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology indicates that certain types of ‘talk therapy’ can reduce stress and increase chances of conception. Research at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) found that women who had ceased to ovulate regained fertility after cognitive behavioural therapy—a form of therapy that seeks to positively influence and restructure one’s voluntary thinking patterns. Other research indicates that laughter can reduce stress and increase ones odds of conception.
Below is a list of tactics to fight stress and boost your natural fertility:
- Emotional Freedom Technique -an amazing relaxation tool with benefit–it can be used to turn off (like a switch) practically any negative emotional that is currently afflicting you.
- Talk it out – if you don’t have a trusted friend on board whom you can vent to, it may be worth seeing a counsellor. It will allow you to let it all out and perhaps give you a fresh perspective.
- Develop a positive mental attitude – if you keep telling yourself “I’ll never get pregnant” then you won’t! Replace that negative voice in your head with positive imagery. Visualisation has been shown to have deeply effective, physical benefits for fertility.
- Massage – this is something you and your partner can do for each other. You don’t have to be a professional masseuse; just the touch of the hands is soothing, reassuring and a sensuous prelude to lovemaking. However, a trip to a day spa for professional deep tissue massage is well worth it, and some spas offer couples’ packages.
- Time management -schedule your daily activities in a way that you have time to really unwind.
- Tea time – eliminate caffeine to reduce anxiety, boost your natural fertility and decrease the chances of miscarriage. Treat yourself instead to a relaxing herbal tea such as chamomile, hibiscus, lemongrass or linden.
- Romantic getaways – a little romantic getaway with your partner can have such a refreshing, reinvigorating and rejuvenating effect on you, your partner and the relationship. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, it can even be in your own city but it can be really fun. Enjoy each other!
- Music – while cleaning house or cooking or just doing nothing, put on some music that heightens your mood, relaxes or soothes you (and your partner).
- Yoga very effective for relieving stress! If you don’t belong to a fitness club, you can rent or buy instructional DVDs.
- Meditation – carve out a quiet space in your day to silence mind chatter and do some deep breathing.
Hopefully now you understand how much your natural fertility is in your hands. Begin taking the steps today to become a happier more relaxed you—it can only benefit your fertility.
The key thing to realise however is that it is not enough just to relax and your will fall pregnant. Although being more relaxed will increase your chances of conception optimum fertility is multi-factorial.
We offer the free #FertilityChallenge to help support and motivate couples to make the necessary lifestyles changes that create balance and optimise fertility. Register for the next challenge today!