The Impact of Stress on Fertility: Managing Emotional Well-being

January 12th, 2024 | 6:49 am


Stress, an instinct, can arise from both positive and negative life situations – be it purchasing a new house or landing your ideal job – a person is supposed to experience stress. Fortunately, the human body is designed to react to stress, regardless of whether a pleasant or negative situation causes it. There can be several reasons for experiencing stress, and it can even impact the fertility of an individual.

Infertility in itself is traumatising, and going through the treatment, a woman has lots of questions, concerns, and doubts – which might take a toll on her mental health. Hence, it’s essential to learn how to manage stress because if not treated early, it can take the path of chronic stress.

Can Stress Impact Fertility?

When a person is under duress, the body releases the hormone cortisol in response to stress. This discharge puts the body’s hormones out of balance, which makes fertilisation more difficult. According to a study, women with greater cortisol levels also had reduced libidos, which may contribute to infertility.

Though the relationship between high levels of stress and infertility is still unclear, it has been seen that lowering stress levels in infertile women with proper counselling and psychological support increases the likelihood of becoming pregnant. This suggests the chances of getting pregnant increase when they experience less stress or are happy in their life.

How to Cope With Stress During Fertility Treatment?

Almost every human being experiences stress – it is a normal part of life and is unavoidable. Stress might cause a physical reaction. The human body responds to stress in three different ways – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Going through fertility treatment can cause emotions to flood in, leading to stress, anxiety, and depression at times. 

Here are a few tips that will help you cope with stress during fertility treatment –

  • Make a List of Priorities

Make sure it is the right time to undergo fertility treatment. If you do not feel comfortable with something, say NO. Make a note of what you want to do and what not. Feel free to prioritise yourself first – because, in the end, it’s you who matters. 

  • Understand Your Treatment

It is essential to understand that treating infertility can take time – rush won’t help. Then, consider the treatment options available. Once the person understands their ailment, they can visit a physician to discuss the possibilities.

There are times when a person could become overly informed and obsessive about their health and treatments. Hence, the chance of them becoming stressed increases. It is advisable to take a break and consider all the possible situations. It helps reduce stress, thus enhancing their overall well-being. 

  • Join a Fertility Support Group

Support groups are the best place to talk about how you are doing. Also, you might hear stories that you can relate to, which will comfort you during tough times. You can find these groups online as well on social media platforms. Also, you can talk to the closest friend – in short, Talking Helps. 

  • Diet and Exercise

Exercise and diet are two of the most important things that a person must consider looking after. Consume a lot of leafy green veggies and reduce the amount of grains, sugar, and salt intake. A healthy body makes a person feel better and increases your chances of getting pregnant by reducing stress. 

It is important to exercise – playing sports to keep oneself occupied can help reduce stress during fertility treatment. Engaging in sports might help you gain fresh insights into life. Also, engaging in activities you enjoy will elevate your dopamine levels. Increased dopamine levels boost your mood and boost self-assurance. In addition, get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, as insufficient sleep might cause you to feel lethargic during the day, impair your perception, and make you unhappy. 

  • Practice Breathing

You do breathe – but have you breathed mindfully? It helps alleviate anxiety. There are many breathing exercises to practise, such as –

  • Pursed lip breathing 
  • Diaphragm breathing 
  • Alternate nostril breathing (Anulom Vilom)
  • Equal or coherent breathing 
  • Deep breathing 
  • Sitali breathing 
  • Humming bee breathing (Bhramari)
  • Do Yoga

Yoga is a traditional mind-body practice that strengthens and stretches your muscles while also helping you focus more intently. Numerous studies have proved the short- and long-term benefits of yoga in lowering stress and anxiety. Also, yoga improves fertility as it boosts overall mental and physical well-being. 

  • Meditation

Meditation helps calm the mind and body. It gives the mind a break from the worldly things. There is no unique equipment or skill set needed to start meditating. Dedicate a little period each day to a peaceful space where you won’t be disturbed. Take a comfortable seat, lie down, and concentrate on how you are breathing. 

  • Take Breaks

IVF treatments can take two weeks to two months, so budget for travel, time, and expenses appropriately. Getting ready to go through this period with a composed head will make it easier for you to deal with and keep your general health. If attempting to become pregnant is taking up all of your time, give it a rest and give yourself a few months to think about it again. Getting ready for everything that can come up is the best method to lessen stress during this time. Make every effort to stay in the moment and remember that you are taking the best possible care of yourself for the future.


It is crucial to stop stressing out throughout the treatment. But no matter what, IVF and fertility treatment can be stressful. The thought of the result can be highly stressful. Thus, you experience stress not only as a result of your treatment but also simply from feeling anxious.

So, while you are in the treatment phase, seeking counselling, discovering coping mechanisms, and receiving support are all wise decisions. Whether or not you are pregnant, you should make every effort to reduce stress to feel better and feel happy. ​