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Stress: Is It Killing Your Fertility?

Your body has a physical response to stress. These responses often manifest themselves as symptoms such as insomnia, restlessness, nervousnessand agitation. Another important effect is a decrease in the immune system which can in turn lead to more susceptibility to colds, flue, hormone imbalances and chronic disease states

When under stress your body is put into its 'fight or flight' mode. When your body is in this mode one of the results is a redistrubution blood. Blood is moved towards your musculo-skeletal system as it is required for mobility as your body expects to be in a threatening situation that may require it to be ready to either physically fight the threat or quickly remove itself from the threatening situation. The blook is also moved more to your brain and eyes to assist you in evading the perceived threat. This has a negative effect on your fertility as this blood would normally be assisting your gastro-intestinal(GI) system, your endocrine system and your reproductive system.

In a 2001 study on the effects of stress on conception, Doctors at the University of California in San Diego examined the success rates of females undergoing Genetic Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) or IVF. A main finding of the study was that females with the highest rated life stress were 93% less likely to become pregnant and achieve live birth than females who scored low.

Chemical responses to stress include increases in systemic adrenaline and prolactin, naturally occurring hormones in the body which can impede fertility.

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