How to control your stress to get pregnant

How to control your stress to get pregnant

In this episode of Fertility TV we’re going to be talking about the impacts of stress on your fertility. So if stress is affecting you or you just want to know more about how stress affects fertility then stay tuned to this video.

In this episode of Fertility TV we’re going to be talking about the impacts of stress on your fertility. So if stress is affecting you or you just want to know more about how stress affects fertility then stay tuned to this video.

We discuss often with patients is how stress impacts your fertility.  It sometimes is something that patients bring up to me, sometimes it’s something that I bring up to patients but it’s always a category or area that I want to look at and address with patients.  I’m sure if you’ve been trying for six months or more, you’ve probably heard from either your doctor or from well-meaning friends and family “Just relax, it will happen.”  “Calm down, let it go, just let your body do it on its own…”  All these nice and well-meaning words, but when you hear them they just make you angry because they’re much easier said than done, right?  I mean like “Just relax…” 

What does that mean? You know it’s…”Okay so you want me to just sit in front of the TV?” Or “How do you want me to forget about this because all my mind focuses on is getting pregnant and getting pregnant now because we’ve been trying for so long.”

So let’s talk about, one – the impacts of stress; and then potentially how we can manage it better.

There was a study done in human reproduction which compared pregnancy rates in women, or in couples who were trying to get pregnant, and they compared those couples’ pregnancy rates on the months that they felt good versus the  months that they didn’t feel good.  On the months that they felt really good and they were happy there was a significant increase in success rates of pregnancy versus those where those patients were tense or anxious or stressed for whatever reason. So we know for sure that this impacts fertility rates.

There was another research study done probably now 15 or 16 years ago and it was published in Fertility and Sterility which showed that couples who go through fertility treatments feel like the treatments are as stressful as if they were going through any life…what’s it called?  Like life…big life disease or illness like cancer, cardio-vascular disease…that word was escaping me.  So we know that it’s a big deal and it impacts fertility. 

So stress, when we are going through stress, our body prioritizes managing that stress, it doesn’t prioritize other things, and when that happens the way our body functions…and I’ve spoken about this many times, I speak about it in my fertility school…but the body shunts blood from the internal organs to the extremities, and this is called the “fight-or-flight response.” 

When this happens the first place that blood gets taken away from is the reproductive organs because it’s the last thing our body needs to do when it’s trying to save itself and when it’s under all this stress. So by doing this we are impacting blood circulation to our reproductive organs and we’re impacting our endocrine system because the stress and the adrenal function is impacting the hypothalamus and the pituitary.  So just from a technical perspective it does have clear ramifications physically on the body.  What can we do about it?  Well I’ve got four tips to help you get started in managing your stress, and I use “managing” because I don’t think we can get rid of it completely unless you’re going to be pampered on a deserted island. So these are four tips in terms of managing it:

One:  Mindfulness.  What I mean by that is staying present in the moment.  If you’re writing a paper, then just write your paper; if you’re answering email then just answer the email; if you’re grabbing the phone; if you’re cooking dinner then just cook dinner.  Being mindful and present in the moment of the things that you’re doing.  In this day and age it’s very easy with all the social media, all the different things that we’re trying to manage, staying caught up in all of our life activities, friends, family, whatever, it’s very easy to get distracted and try to multi-task.  I don’t like to multi-task, I like to do one thing good, get it done and move on to the next thing. So I encourage you to stay mindful and stay in the moment.  Ways that you can do that or that can train the body to do that is like things like Yoga, exercise, hiking Qigong, meditation.

For me, when I go hiking, I have to stay present in my moment, I have to be focusing on my steps, where I’m stepping, what I’m doing and I’m out in nature.  So that’s one way that I like to do it.  So Number One – stay mindful.

Two:  Build good relationships and get rid of the ones that suck.  If you’ve got relationships with people who upset you, they don’t make you happy, they are…it’s bad energy, they don’t bring anything good to your life, get rid of it, that you don’t need it, get rid of the people that suck and drain you.  Interact with friends and family that you love to interact with, that you love to do things with, and do the things that you love to do with the people you love to be around.  Build good relationships and focus on that because that’s what’s going to make you happy and build a good healthy month, and hopefully that’s the month that you get pregnant.

A technique I love is acupressure or acupuncture but this helps to regulate the nervous system and the stress response and increase blood circulation back to the uterus.

And then last but not least, how do you do all these things? You create flex time.  Flex time for me is time that you build into your week and your month that can’t be changed.  It’s like an appointment that you have with a co-worker or a business meeting, the only difference is, is that business meeting is with you and yourself or your partner.  This is time that’s built in for you, it’s non-negotiable, it can’t be changed.  You need to exercise certain days, it gets put in; you want time for yourself to paint, it gets put in; you want a date night with your partner, it gets put in; I’m calling it flex time, you can call it whatever you want, it’s time that can’t get moved.  Oftentimes when you guys do that and somebody else calls you and it seems like it’s more important, you guys move that appointment for something else.  Those appointments are non-negotiable, you put them in your calendar, they can’t be changed unless it’s an emergency, life or death.

So those are my four tips – be mindful, build good relationships, get rid of the ones that suck, start acupressure and build that all with flex time.

And if you want to learn more about fertility, more about what I just discussed in this video and how to treat you from beginning to end in a wonderful online do-it-yourself program, then you should check out my fertility school.  If you want any more information on that and to read more on it and how to start it, just click right here.

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Marc Sklar works with couples who have struggled to achieve pregnancy and has been doing so for over 15 years. As the Fertility Expert, Marc has a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Marc received his training at the prestigious Harvard Medical School – Mind/Body Medical Institute. Dr. Sklar co-authored Secret to Conception and created two informative fertility websites, and We hope you have the opportunity to visit our websites and learn more about our team, our methods, conditions we treat and explanations to many frequently asked fertility questions. Marc is married with two boys currently living in San Diego. He is ready to help if your goal is to start a family!