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Digital Subscriptions > > STEP TOWARD A MIND BODY BALANCE


How to take a Mind Body approach to your fertility health and overcome fertility-related stress. By Ann Bracken, Mind Body Baby

Hospital visits, calendar watching, ongoing test results and scheduled sex can make trying for a baby a stressful experience for the one in six couples currently experiencing fertility problems. It can be difficult to decide whether you should take into account lifestyle factors and continue trying naturally or whether to move from one treatment approach to another. Though some stress is an unavoidable part of going through this uncertain chapter in your life, there is an increasing body of evidence highlighting the benefits of reducing emotional and psychological stress and the positive effect that can have on optimising treatment outcomes. At the very least, it will give you the resilience and emotional balance needed to experience a more self-empowered fertility treatment process.

The most recent research tracked 23,000 women in Sweden undertaking IVF in an ongoing study since 2007. This significant study published in March this year showed that women with depression or anxiety had lower rates of pregnancy and live birth rates than those who did not have depression or anxiety. This also correlates with recent research from the US where stress biomarkers were measured in 401 couples trying to conceive, over a 12-month period. The findings concluded that “higher levels of stress as measured by salivary alpha-amylase are associated with a longer time to pregnancy and an increased risk of infertility.” Similar research in the UK observed 274 women between the ages of 18-40 trying to get pregnant and concluded that “stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window, possibly exerting its effect through the sympathetic medullar pathway.”

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