The human reproductive process is one driven by hormones, which communicate by sending signals to different organs required to make ova in females and sperms in males. It is therefore not surprising that any event that disrupts this communication loop will consequently affect fertility negatively.

Chronic stress will influence and derail your body’s normal programming to prevent adequate release of hormones that are critical for conception. We have all come to appreciate that the whole reproductive process begins from the brain. Once our minds are preoccupied by thoughts from stressful events, the impact will be evident in the following ways

  1. Low libido. Stress will lower the sex drive and desire. During stressful events, your body produces cortisol to combat the stressor by diverting the body’s attention to the stressor. The body’s reproductive avenue is temporarily sacrificed by reducing sex hormone production so the body can fight off the stressor.
  2. Irregular menstrual cycle in females. You might experience delayed or missing periods, heavy bleeding or even bleed between cycles due to stress induced hormonal imbalance.
  3. Poor sperm quality in males, with low sperm count and low speed. Chances of fertilization are low with reduced quality of sperms.
  4. Stress will drive you towards unhealthy habits such as little or too much sleep, unhealthy eating habits and too much alcohol or smoking. All these behaviors have been proven to impact fertility.
  5. Stress can increase chances of miscarriage and spontaneous abortion. This can be due to altered uterine environment owing to fluctuations in hormonal levels. In some cases, even implantation may fail to occur leading to increased chances of infertility.

Infertility can even cause more stress, making an already bad situation worse. It is therefore necessary to manage stress as one of the ways of improving fertility and reproductive health.

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