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Dec 20, 2021

Reducing the Impact of Stress on the Reproductive System

Stress is not just feeling tired after an exhausting series of activities. Stress goes beyond your physical and mental health; it can hamper the reproductive system as well. 

But how exactly does stress affect the reproductive system? 

 

The Negative Impact of Stress on the Reproductive System

Stress inhibits ovulation

Studies show that stress promotes the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, which inhibits the sex hormone GnRH. Without this hormone, your body will not be able to send enough signals to your ovaries to release eggs when due, and this affects your ovulation. That’s why you find that you have irregular periods or none at all when you’re pretty stressed out.

Chronic stress disrupts fertility 

Research also shows that stress does not only indirectly inhibit your sex hormone but also promotes the release of the gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone, GnIH. GnIH marches the brakes on your reproductive system, thereby impeding your fertility. It’s kind of your brain telling your body, “Oh no, you’re pretty stressed out now, let’s reduce your burden by taking reproductory activities out of the equation for a while.”

Stress reduces your sex drive

You see, everything begins in your brain. Stress, your body’s response to it, it all begins right there. When you’re stressed out, your body doesn’t just feel too tired for sex. It’s your brain that tells it to act that way by suppressing your sex hormones.

 

What You Can Do

You see, stress is a part of everyday life, but it’s what you do when you experience it that really matters. The first step is to acknowledge that you’re stressed, as it becomes easier to respond in a healthy way to reduce the impact of stress. 

And there are many things you can do to reduce the impact of stress, one of which is breathwork

 

Reducing the Impact of Stress through Breathing

Breathwork is any breathing exercise, which of course, can be a part of your mindfulness/meditation routine.

Breath is a bridge linking the body and mind (or brain, if you choose to call it that). 

The practice of consciously taking deep breaths helps to stimulate your parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, bringing you into a state of calm. 

While the sympathetic nervous system prepares you to react to stress, the parasympathetic is what helps you recover from it (stress). It allows your body to go into a state of rest and digest by slowing down the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and respiratory rate, and diverting blood supply towards the digestive and reproductive systems.

As earlier mentioned, it all begins in the brain. When you’re experiencing stress, so many thoughts fill your mind: your to-dos, how to go about them, how to manage time, how to go about tomorrow’s activities amid the stress, and so many other anxieties. 

When your mind is clouded with such thoughts, consciously focusing on your breathing can increase levels of mental clarity and physical presence, leaving you feeling calm and connected. All the thoughts of what you HAVE to do fade away, and you’re left with only the PRESENT. 

It’s a fact, breathing is a therapeutic technique that leads you into an otherworldly state of consciousness. 

Try practicing a deep breathing technique throughout the day, exhaling for twice as long as you inhale. For example, when you breathe in four times, exhale eight times. There’s also a great breathing technique outlines in our @frolicforlife social media post.

 

Final Words

With the integration of mind and body therapies for fertility and stress reduction that are supported by a healthy lifestyle, your mind will soon become calmer, your reproductive system nourished and your sex hormones awakened.  

For more support with your fertility journey, speak to our Fertility Coach for a free consultation.

 

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