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Stress, It's Just A Fact Of Life

Stress takes its toll on everyone at one point or another in life. Regardless what a person does for a living, where they live, how old or young they are or whether they are male or female, situations that generate stress happen. It is just a fact. Research is now concluding that chronic stress can negatively affect fertility in both men and women and that by simply learning some relaxation techniques, infertility due to stress can be helped.

The Pressure Of Fertility Treatments

It is almost a Catch 22 for couples who are undergoing fertility treatments. Many such couples have been trying for months or even years to conceive and their fertility issues are consuming them. Thanks to modern science, many couples are helped with fertility treatments and do conceive. Others, even though they have gone through myriad treatments have not been so lucky. The constant stress of medical appointments, timing sex, fertility drugs and the prodding and poking that oftentimes goes along with such treatments, can take a couple to the edge over time.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 1995 approximately 9 .3 million women had used infertility services, and 2.1 million married couples were considered infertile. Between 60 and 70 percent of those treated experience positive results. However, the 40 percent who are not successful find themselves strained, exhausted, stressed and thousands of dollars behind. The good news is that there is evidence that relaxation techniques used to reduce stress may be just what is needed to increase the chances of having a baby for that 40 percent.

The Connection Between Ovulation And Relaxation

According to research published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, Dr. Sarah Berga of Emory University's department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, revealed the results of a 2003 study on cognitive behavioral therapy and its affect upon fertility. Dr. Berga has dedicated her studies to the connection between chronic stress and ovulation. Sixteen women were involved in the study, and the group was split into two groups of eight. Seven of eight women who went through therapy had their ovulation restored, and only two of eight regained their ovulation without the use of therapy. Dr. Berga reported later that the women who did not ovulate had excess levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in their brain fluid.

Stress Relief Helps All The Way Around

Dr. Berga suggested that some women who take part in a stress-relief program might find the need for IVF redundant. However, stress-reduction techniques can be useful to women who are undergoing fertility treatments as well as those who are trying to conceive on their own. A study by the National Institute of Mental Health showed in a group of women who had tried to conceive over a period of two years that those who took part in mind-body groups had a higher rate of conception than those who did not participate.

Reducing stress has been shown to increase the rates of pregnancy in infertile women. When you consider that stress definitely taxes the body, causing distress and functional changes, it is easier to understand that relaxation techniques can help the body regain more natural and normal function.

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