Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stress can make you infertile

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While it should really come as no surprise, a recent study found that stress can stop women from becoming pregnant.

American researchers have found that a build-up of stress plays a major role in preventing ovulation.

Even more interesting: psychotherapy restored fertility in up to 80% of cases.

Professor Sarah Berga, from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, said: "Contrary to what had previously been believed, we found that multiple small stressors that seemingly would have minimal impact on reproductive competence can play a major role in causing anovulation (failure to ovulate).

"Up until now it was thought that failure to ovulate was usually caused by the energy deficits induced by excessive exercise and/or undernutrition, but we asked why women undertake such behaviours.

"Often dieting and exercise are a way of coping with psychosocial stress, and our previous work had shown that such stress is often increased in women who do not ovulate."

The Daily Mail continues:
The scientists set out to study the causes of an infertility condition called functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) in women of normal weight who had not had a period for more than six months.

FHA is triggered by a lack of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which signals the release into the bloodstream of hormones that stimulate ovulation.

Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in women with FHA revealed increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
According to herbalists, the bark of the magnolia tree can help reduce cortisol levels.

Meditiation is a great way to reduce and relieve stress. There are many paths and styles of meditation.

The meditative path I often follow has been discussed on SacredFems.com before. It involves a simple daily affirmation along with visualization.

Fortunately, for me, it hasn't led to pregnancy! LOL!

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