Can Stress Really Have an Impact on Our Fertility?

Throughout our life we will experience times of intense emotional difficulty and sometimes unimaginable stress. This is part of the human condition, and in many ways how we cope and adapt to these times will shape us for years to come. For some people, the journey towards becoming a parent can present many challenges and we all respond differently to these. Some people are like the river running gently around the rocks, whereas others will get stuck trying to clamber over them.

Part of my role is to help women through the difficult and often all-consuming emotions they can experience while trying to conceive or going through fertility treatment. Women seem instinctively aware that their emotions can impact on their fertility. Sometimes they will say to me things like: Im stressed that I am stressed, because I know its bad for me!

The mind and the body are not separate

I have felt that for the last ten years, public health messages have been very much focused on good diet, and this has led to many people improving their eating habits and valuing the importance of a healthy diet. Of course this is a good thing ? a great thing. However, I feel the next area of interest will be the mind and how it is central to our health and wellbeing. Certainly patients are becoming more aware that physical problems can have their roots in emotional difficulties, or that emotional difficulties impact on their physical problems. The mind and the body are not separate.

Stress & its impact on fertility

Patients come to see me with many anxieties and stresses; there is fear of failure, sometimes even feelings of panic. Some of the patients I see are impatient, and some are busy accumulating more information than they could ever absorb. As humans, we can be competitive and used to getting what we want in life when we want it, and become frustrated when things dont go to plan. Some of us like to have a schedule and have control over our lives, whereas others may need to develop some order and organisation. Many are unhappy and experiencing acute feelings of grief and sadness. All of these things can impact on our relationships and our overall sense of wellbeing and, yes, our fertility.

My aim is to help couples and individuals to develop is a sense of calmness and clarity; to be relaxed yet disciplined and to take positive actions without being fixated or obsessed. Learn when to take charge and when to let go. I have huge sympathy for women and couples struggling to conceive, but I have also seen how patients emotional responses can become part of the problem. It is important to find peace within ourselves; we can learn so much when we realise that some of the stresses in our lives are generated from within, and that we have the power to choose how we react to what life brings us. I am not saying you are to blame for anything, only that you have within you the power to make things easier ? more simple.

I aim to teach you to cultivate emotional wellness and to learn how to identify some of the stresses that you might be creating or contributing to. Identifying the areas in our life we can work on and understanding how we ourselves can be mindful can have far-reaching benefits. We can be mindful about our menstrual cycle, being aware of our body as it changes through the month. We can eat mindfully, which has been shown to improve the digestion and absorption of food. We can develop an awareness about how we create stress for ourselves and how we can change this pattern. 

How do you know if youre stressed out?

You will tend to know instinctively if stress is getting the better of you, but here are some of the key indicators that remind us when we need to take it easier in life.

  • constant tiredness
  • avoiding getting things done
  • tension, especially in the neck and shoulders
  •  struggling to sleep well through the night
  • loss of appetite or reaching for comfort foods all the time
  • feeling distracted and unfocused, perhaps struggling with self-confidence
  •  a sense of panic about everything you need to get done
  • feeling under more pressure than you can cope with
  • sighing often
  • disrupted digestion
  • feeling irritable, defensive or tearful
  • over-thinking things
  • disrupted menstrual cycle

For 25 years I have supported women and couples on the same journey you are about to take, or have been on for a while – the journey towards becoming a parent. Sometimes this journey is short and easy and sometimes it is long and difficult.  The thing that I know really helps is the ability to build inner resources. So I aim  to help you become a person of deep inner resources. I aim to help you become FERTILE; rich in resource, fruitful and prolific.

I want to introduce  you to THE 5 PILLARS OF FERTILE; and teach you how bringing them into your life will help you become a parent from a place of health and balance.

The 5 Pillars of Fertile

FLEXIBILITY

Learning to let go of control is often the first step to improving your journey. I see that without fail patients become more fertile, more fruitful and prolific, when they relax and become more flexible in their mental approach. The ability to know where you are going and to have a strong vision, yet meet your life with flexibility.

CREATIVITY

Conception is the ultimate act of union and creativity.  This pillar is linked to our passion, our hearts work, how we interact with others and our ability to be connected to joy and pleasure. So often we lose sight of the importance of this aspect of life.  Being connected and collaborating as apposed to competing allows for us to bring more abundance into our lives

 Bringing creativity into your life will open you up to the laws of attraction and show you how to bring abundance and FERTILE energy into your life.

NOURISHMENT

Learning  how to nourish yourself is vital and central to becoming a mother; in order to nourish another first you must nourish yourself. This pillar is about food but also about other areas that can nourish us in life. Ask yourself when did you last feel fully satisfied ?

TRANSFORMATION

Transformation is an incredibly import aspect of humanity and how it can be a healing force in our lives. Turning our wounds into wisdom is a very empowering act of healing and teaches us that no matter how difficult life can be the places that challenge us the most are the places that give us the most opportunity for growth. 

 And last but not least….

BELIEF

Belief is central to achieving our goal to become a parent. Yet sometimes our beliefs can get in the way, especially if we are dogged with self-limiting beliefs about ourself and our fertility. “I always knew it would be hard”, “  don’t deserve to be a parent”, “  I left it too late”.  These beliefs can become self fulfilling prophecies because we constantly feed the body/mind with negative messages, making the body feel unsafe. Many people are afraid to hope; but hope and belief really are the corner stones of healing.

Working through these 5 pillars will really help you on your journey to becoming a parent. If you would like to know more I have developed a 90 Day FERTILE programme to support you. 

By Emma Cannon, Fertility Expert

About The Author

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