What Stress Does to Your Fertility
When you get stressed you get tight on the outside (usually neck and shoulders) AND you get tight on the inside and your blood vessels start to narrow off. This reduces blood flow. And without good blood flow your main organs (especially your Kidney, Liver and Heart) and your reproductive organs cannot function properly leading to infertility problems.
When you are stressed, you body releases stress-response hormones – the main ones being adrenaline and cortisol. Too much adrenaline floating around in your bloodstream is toxic to your Liver and can interfere with the production of the very hormones you need for fertility.
Your liver function must be strong. Your Liver is the ‘General’. Its job is to command what happens with your cycle. A compromised Liver due to too much adrenaline cannot govern your cycle properly leading to period problems to affect your fertility.
Thousands of years ago this stress-response (or fight or flight response) occurred occasionally when there was real danger. After all, it wasn’t every day you were confronted with a sabre-toothed tiger.
But modern life is a different story. We see the metaphorical tiger every day at work and at home. Our flight or flight response triggers every day to flood our body with unwanted adrenaline and cortisol and narrows our blood vessels off to affect good blood flow.
Stress effectively empties your Fertility Cup*.
How to Reduce the Affect of Stress on Your Fertility
There are really only three strategies:
- Remove yourself from the stressor
- Adapt to the stress with coping strategies
- Strengthen your body so the stressors have less impact on you
Remove Yourself From the Stressor
Good in theory but not always possible. Most stress comes from family or work and both can be difficult or impossible to extricate yourself from. See if you can remove (or at least reduce your exposure to) people who and situations that pile the stress onto you. Even reducing your exposure to stressors by 50% can help a lot.
Adapt to the Stress With Coping Strategies
- Exercise – releases endorphins (the feel-good hormone). Any form of exercise is good, but if you’re trying to conceive stay towards the more gentle end (yoga, tai chi, walks) rather then drive yourself too hard (marathons) as you will burn up all your energy and leave none for your fertility.
- Meditation – basically, this is quiet time. You can sit there and clear your mind (which not many people can do) or you can do active meditation where you do an activity that you enjoy and are so involved in so much that you forget everything else while you do it (eg. photography, painting, cooking). One form of meditation is to breathe the ‘white light’ into your uterus, kidney and liver (more on this in future posts).
- Get out into nature – the healing and calming power of nature is significant. Get out into nature every day. A walk in the park or down by the water is ideal. Make it part of your routine.
- Acupuncture – causes a massive release of endorphins (feel-good hormone). Most people say that they ‘walk into the clinic and then float out’. Regular acupuncture can significantly reduce feelings of anxiousness, overwhelm, irritability and low mood.
Strengthen Your Body So the Stressors Have Less Impact On You
In Chinese medicine if your organ function is strong then so is your mental state. Your physiology significantly affects your psychology and mood. If your organ function (especially your Liver, Kidney and Heart) is weak you will more easily feel anxious, depressed, fear, worried or irritable.
By improving the strength and function of your Liver, Kidney and Heart you will improve your ability to cope with the stressors in your life. So what used to bother you a lot may no longer bother you at all.