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The Impact of Stress on Fertility

The rate of infertility in women, especially the Indian women, is increasing at an alarming rate. This has a lot to do with the kind of lifestyle that the young women in the urban regions of the country are adopting.

Although there are several factors that affect fertility and pregnancy, obesity is a major one. Since the millennial women are leading a highly sedentary lifestyle because of their jobs, it’s causing them to become overweight and giving rise to pregnancy-related problems.

 

How does Obesity Affect Fertility and Pregnancy?

Obesity affects pregnancy in many ways- directly and indirectly. These are:

 

Hormonal Imbalance

When the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a woman goes beyond 29.9, which is the maximum value in the overweight category, and enters the obese category (30 and above), it affects the natural levels of hormones in her body and makes pregnancy difficult.

According to a study on the connection between a woman’s BMI and their pregnancy, women with BMI ranging between 35 and 40 are 43% less likely to get pregnant than the women who have BMI ranging between 21 and 29.

 

Insulin Resistance

Obese women are more likely to develop insulin resistance than others. However, this condition can alter their sex hormones, mainly androgen (the male hormone) which increases the risk of anovulation, i.e. failed ovulation.

In addition to that, it is found that in the women who are diagnosed with anovulation, the usual root cause of the problem is PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).

 

Probability of Miscarriage

Obesity is also found to increase the odds of miscarriage because of the following reasons:

  • Changes in the hormone levels in the women that make it difficult to have a healthy pregnancy
  • Deteriorating condition of ovum/eggs
  • Improper reception of the fertilized egg by the womb, possibly because of the resistance towards insulin

According to one study, obese women are 67% more likely to miscarry than healthy women.

 

Can Stress also Cause Infertility?

For a long time, it was believed that infertility was entirely a result of biological factors. However, some studies have found that stress can also affect pregnancy and fertility in women.

One study, in particular, found that too much stress can almost double the risk of infertility in women. It also found that adopting relaxing techniques, which could be as simple as just going for a 20-minute walk on a daily basis can increase the chances of getting pregnant.

 

Healthy and Pregnancy

It’s true that a woman who is overweight and stressed frequently may face fertility-related problems. However, by taking appropriate measures, she can reverse it too.

In other words, by eating healthy, adopting techniques that help control anxiety and stress, and exercising on a daily basis can greatly improve the odds of conception.

Researchers have found a tangible connection between exercising and fertility. They found that regular exercise such as walking or cycling can help a woman in getting pregnant faster. Surprisingly, they also found that “overdoing” the physical activities can be counterproductive too. So, to enjoy good fertility, a woman should do exercise on a daily basis, but in moderation

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