The relationship between stress and infertility
Each patient at Dallas IVF has a different diagnosis, but all fertility patients experience stress to some degree. Since fertility issues can impact every aspect of a patient’s life, the physicians at our Dallas fertility clinic know that stress and infertility often go hand in hand.
For this reason, it is important for patients to understand the relationship between their emotional and physical health, and to learn ways to manage their stress.
There is no definitive proof of a cause-and-effect link between stress and infertility
Researchers have been unable to prove that stress causes infertility. However, everyone in the field of reproductive medicine agrees that infertility can cause stress, and sometimes even depression. This information will come as no surprise to fertility patients. After all, infertility impacts all areas of life, including work, relationships, health and finances.
The team at our Dallas fertility clinic may take notice when patients deal with this stress in unhealthy ways. Some may isolate themselves from their friends and family, the very people who can provide crucial emotional support. At the other extreme, some men or women will excessively pursue fertility treatments beyond a reasonable number of cycles. They may expect a positive outcome regardless of age, limitations and diagnosis. However, neither approach is healthy or productive.
For the best results, our fertility specialists recommend taking a proactive approach to fertility treatments, while taking steps to manage stress and anxiety.
It’s important for fertility patients to find ways to manage stress
Not only can stress management help patients cope with an infertility diagnosis, it can also help them make informed decisions about their fertility treatment options and improve their mental and physical health. When a patient takes control of her stress, she feels more in control of her life as a whole.
Our Dallas fertility clinical team realizes that not every stress management technique will work for every patient. As a result, our fertility specialists recommend that patients try more than one technique to determine which one works best.
Some patients find success with deep breathing exercises, which involve taking slow and deep breaths from the abdomen. Others find relief with progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tightening and relaxing the muscles from head to toe.
Other popular stress reduction activities include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Support groups
Friends and family of fertility patients can also help with stress relief. Although it might be tempting to offer advice to fertility patients, sometimes it can be more helpful to be a supportive listener.
If you’d like more information about stress and infertility, please contact our office.