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Question
Posted by: Stressed out! | 2005/12/02

Does stress affect my chances of conceiving

How does stress affect ones ability to fall pregnant? We are in the process trying for a baby but I have the ability to really stress about things. I was suffering from severe cramping, which comes and goes periodically, and when I consulted a gyneacologist he told me he saw nothing wrong with me and can only attribute the cramping to stress. He told me I would have to relax. We have only been trying for the last month so I know I should still give it time, but the stress and the cramping is bothering me. Do I have reason to worry?

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Our expert says:
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Well, I'm guessing you don't want or need a detailed biochemical explanation, but it does seem clear from much experience, that stress can reduce fertility --- some women can even lose their periods during times of severe stress. A month is of course a short time to be trying for a pregnancy ; but it would be worth seeing a counsellor to work on eliminating stress so far as possible, and finding better ways of handling whatever stress remains. And stress leads top anxiety and muscle tensions which can easily lead to cramps and various other pains. I'm sure if you can learn some relaxation, you can rather enjoy the process of trying, and become pregnant calmly and pleasantly rather than as part of a grimly determined struggle.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Friend | 2005/12/02

Stress can definitely affect your ability to fall pregnant and can throw out your cycle completely. Many university students' cycles are disrupted during exam times. My sister has exactly the same problem, only her husband suffers from stress too and this complicates the situation even more. I think you should try to exercise more, have a glass of wine now and then, go see a funny movie and don't think about it too much.

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Posted by: Buzz | 2005/12/02

You'll be better adviced on the gynae forum, but I'll tell you what I know.

Stress on its own, shouldn't prevent conception. But it won't make it any easier. By your description, periodic cramps etc., and your stressed nature, you might have endemetriosis (the illness of perfectionists). Did your gynae do a sonar of your ovaries and womb when you went for you check-up? This is the only way to establish if you have endemetriosis or not. If you do, it will be very difficult to fall pregnant, but not impossible. You can have it surgically removed, in order to fall pregnant, but it comes back again! It's really a catch 22, endemetriosis makes pregnancy difficult, but pregnancy is the best cure for it!!!

Don't give up hope, one month of trying is really nothing. How old are you?

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