Is infertility as traumatic as cancer?

Research has proven that the stress levels of women with infertility are the same as women who’ve been diagnosed with cancer, AIDS or heart disease.

Infertility is stressful. Period.

If only it were as simple as, “Just relax and let it happen.”

Yeah, right.

And the kicker is, this same research proves that stress makes it harder to conceive.

In a study published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the scientists reported that women who stopped using contraceptives took longer to become pregnant if they had high saliva levels of the enzyme alpha-amylase — a biological indicator of stress.

In fact, women with the highest concentrations of alpha-amylase were 12 percent less likely to become pregnant each month than those with the lowest levels.

Sounds like the makings of a vicious cycle to me.

The longer it takes to get pregnant, the more stressed you get. The more stressed out you get, the longer it takes to get pregnant.

So how do you break this nasty cycle?

The researchers suggest that finding ways to reduce or manage stress may be a low-tech solution for some infertile couples.

Chinese medicine doctors have been saying this for thousands of years.

You see, in Chinese medicine we understand how stress affects the body. We call it liver qi stagnation. We know that it directly affects blood flow to the reproductive organs, hormone balance, and drains your life force energy needed to make babies.

We know that using mind-body tools is the key to offsetting the effects of stress on your health.

Dr. Buck Louis, the study’s lead author, said, “Stress is the one most consistent factor that shows an effect on how long it takes to get pregnant, of all the lifestyle factors studied to date.”

So if you’re NOT practicing stress-management tools, like meditation, exercise, journaling, acupressure, and acupuncture etc., it NEEDs to be part of your program.

Most women that walk through my clinic doors are Type A personalities. Sound familiar?

Do you get stressed out when things are out of your control? Or when you can’t DO something to guarantee immediate pregnancy success?

All the more reason to follow a stress-management program, so that you can harness that need to take action without getting yourself more stressed out.

Dr. Sarah Berga, head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University who has studied the effects of stress management on women who aren’t ovulating,  said, “The surprising finding was that even low levels of stress can have an impact on conception.”

In other words, you don’t need to be a total head case for stress to affect your fertility. You just need to be a normal woman with normal concerns and anxieties over why it’s taking longer than she hoped to get pregnant.

If that’s you, then please seek out stress-management solutions.