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Stress And Female Fertility: What Working Women Should Know – Essential Woman Magazine
Family Health & Fitness Lifestyle

Stress And Female Fertility: What Working Women Should Know

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi

The dream to raise a family is a universal one. Sometimes however, this dream is threatened and may become more of a challenge to cou-ples and the society.

What is infertility?

Infertility is the inability of a couple to conceive after one year of regular sexual intercourse without contra-ception.

How Work -Stress Affects Female Fertility

Stress affects a woman’s hormones, which in turn af-fects her fertility levels. It affects and changes fat distri-bution in a woman’s body. Cortisol is a hormone asso-ciated with stress – it helps people cope with stressful situations (think, fight or flight). Cortisol also “moves” fatfrom a woman’s hips to her waist. So, the more stress women face, the more their bodies change because of hormones, and the more infertility becomes a possibility.

The idea that stress causes infertility is an old one and still debatable. Couples struggling to conceive hear it all the time: “Just relax!” “Have a glass of wine!” “Take the pressure off by adopting a child, and you’ll get pregnant in no time!”

Today’s researchers, however, believe that psychologi-cal factors–while important–are secondary to biologi-cal ones. They know that the interaction between factors is complex. And while some studies support the idea that stress-reducing interventions boost the chances of pregnancy, the jury is still out.

We are careful not to categorically say that stress causes infertility because the moment you say to women that there’s a connection, they think ‘I’m so stressed at work, and I’ve probably shut down my ovaries and will never get pregnant!’ “Stress could disrupt fertility, but it very rarely–if ever–causes people never to conceive.”

Biovin, 2002 said if people are thinking of using some kind of intervention, they should be motivated to use them to improve their quality of life rather than to in-crease their pregnancy rates.

If you’re hoping to get pregnant but think work stress may decrease your fertility levels, you may be thinking about how to reduce the stressors.

Women with hectic jobs are those most at risk, and are often most in denial about the stress in their lives, say researchers.

They also found that simple ‘talking therapies’ such as counselling and the use of acupuncture can reverse the effect of stress and boost a woman’s chances of becom-ing pregnant.

Some women have high levels of the hormone cortisol which is linked to stress without knowing it.

This population may actually look very well pulled to-gether and may not report stress. They say everything is just fine but people who say everything is fine at times may be the most stressed.

They may have unrealistic attitudes about themselves and others and think they can get more done in the day than is realistic, and their sense of worth depends on achievement.

Therapy for this group should be designed to give a better perspective and improved self-worth to help cut stress levels.

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi is a highly-respected obstetrician / gynaecologist. He is also the Managing Director at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos which pioneered the Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Injection (IMSI) in Nigeria. The clinic specializes in In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and treatment of infertility.

About the author

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi is a highly-respected obstetrician / gynaecologist. He is also the Managing Director at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos which pioneered the Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Injection (IMSI) in Nigeria. The clinic specializes in In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and treatment of infertility.

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