Stress and Infertility
Relieving stress to promote relaxation and proper circulation of qi and blood is another crucial objective of fertility acupuncture. Stress causes contractions of muscles and blood vessels thus leading to poor delivery of blood and oxygen. The contracted muscles may be those of your digestive organs, resulting in impaired digestive function. Many people report experiencing an upset or nervous stomach, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, or decreased appetite when feeling stressed.
The contracted muscles may also be those of your reproductive organs. Without sufficient flow of blood and oxygen to the reproductive organs, egg and sperm production are compromised. In addition, poorly nourished blood may gather resulting in endometriosis, fibroids, menstrual cramps, and tubal blockage.
When you undergo stress, stress hormones are released by the endocrine system. These hormones are necessary and harmless if released to provide a rush necessary to escape an emergency situation, which is hopefully a seldom, if ever, circumstance.
But if they are constantly released, these hormones are toxic. They disrupt proper hormone distribution vital to the healthy ebb and flow of menstruation and ovulation and possible implantation as well as sperm production.
When stress hormones are released, they put normal daily organ functioning on hold so that the heart can race faster and the lungs to require less oxygen. If this state is maintained, the heart is worn out, the digestive and excretory organs are not properly functioning, and the lungs fail to supply the body with an adequate oxygen supply. The immune system is subsequently compromised as it must now cleanse the body of the toxic buildup from stress hormone excretion. The body’s primary goal is survival so continued stress will necessarily reprioritize reproduction to a lower status the longer the stress continues. A study from the University of California, San Diego found that women with high stress were 93% less likely to become pregnant.
Fortunately, acupuncture is extremely effective at relaxing the mind and body. In addition, there are many steps you can take in your daily life to minimize stress. Awareness is the first and most important step!
Recommendations to Prepare You for Your Pregnancy:
- Reduce your stress with conscious deep abdominal breathing throughout the day.
- Practice positive affirmations to change your negative thought patterns about your body or your fertility. An example is: “My thoughts are peaceful and calm and allow for a nurturing place for my baby.”
- Eat healthier, less processed foods that are nutrient dense without added sugars and chemicals (i.e. preservatives, food coloring, etc.).
- If planning to start acupuncture, begin charting your BBT to help your acupuncturist determine if hormonal imbalances are a factor.
- Call us today to start acupuncture.