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Stress – Emotional Impact on Fertility

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The emotional toll of infertility can be huge.

Women experiencing infertility can have feelings of depression, loneliness, rejection and loss of control. Many even report they do not want to share their feelings with anyone. With 1 in 6 couples experiencing trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a full term pregnancy, stress levels are on the rise.

It is clear that infertility causes stress, but what is not completely understood is how stress impacts fertility. Women who are experiencing infertility consistently state they have higher levels of anxiety and depression. At times, the stress has been reported to cause symptoms similar to those of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).

If you are going through these struggles, we want to help. Whether you are beginning to explore your next steps for fertility or you are a patient undergoing assisted reproductive treatment (ART), you’re even more vulnerable to stress resulting in anxiety and depression.

Stress inducers during attempting conception include:

  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple ART cycles
  • Cost of treatments
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Side effects of medications

Good news is on the horizon. Recent studies have pointed to a significant rise in pregnancy rates in those undergoing various integrative and coping strategies to lower stress.

By reducing stress you will be able to make better decisions on all your fertility treatment choices. Learning new cognitive and behavioral techniques to lower anxiety is part of Inovi’s Integrative Mind and Body Approach to pregnancy health and wellness.

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How To Avoid Stress When Trying to Get Pregnant

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There are various ways to cope with the stress of infertility treatment and conception. Since each person is different with bodies, conditions and personalities that vary, we provide multiple options ranging from psychosocial to behavioral and cognitive techniques.

In both individual and group settings, we will offer counseling and coaching on the relationship between emotions, actions and pregnancy. You and your fertility team will develop strategies to use throughout the treatment process. These include options for:

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise Routines
  • Nutrition
  • Mind-Body Groups
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Meditation
  • Massage Therapy


Yoga is a wonderful exercise as a therapeutic intervention to improve fertility in couples undergoing assisted reproductive techniques (ART). It is proven to result in the following benefits on fertility:

  • Reduced pain
  • Decreased depression
  • Lowered anxiety
  • Minimized stress
  • Reduced the rate of assisted vaginal deliveries
  • Improved fetal outcomes


Is an alternative form of infertility treatment to reduce stress, improve fertility and lower inflammation in both men and women. Benefits of the body treatment points are:

  • Increase energy flow to reproductive organs
  • Warm the blood for better circulation
  • Remove sources of blockages that can cause stagnation of flow

Exercise Routines

Healthy amounts of exercise can be beneficial for both men and women. Our program supervises and helps plan for the recommended levels. Studies have shown the benefits of physical activities for men include:

  • Sperm parameters improved in men who moderately exercised 3 times per week vs more rigorous and frequent intervals
  • Better sperm morphology in those with controlled exercise over elite athletes


There is evidence that a diet of fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables supplemented with whole grains can increase the chances of fertility in women and better quality semen in men.

Keeping your blood sugar at normal levels without drastic swings is important, especially since high insulin is associated with abnormal hormone levels found in PCOS patients.

We recommend avoidance of alcohol or caffeine, as the impact on your fertility is still considered by many to be high and risky.

Mind-Body Groups

Depression and anxiety can accompany those experiencing infertility. Whether as a supplement to or used exclusively, mind-body programs such as yoga or hypnotherapy may benefit both men and women who are looking to decrease anxiety as well be a supplemental strategy for lifestyle change programs such as weight loss, alcohol and smoking cessation.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

This is a special form of relaxation technique designed to reduce stress and has been effectively used to lower anxiety. It includes a series of tensing and releasing various muscles groups in a defined pattern to relax the overall body and minimize stress and pain.

Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Thearpy

These therapies include common types of talk therapies discussed and used with a therapist. Many find these sessions helpful in treating depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or eating disorders that may affect your ability to become pregnant. It plays a positive role in managing stress and helps you cope with loss that may accompany fertility treatments.


This form of mind-body relaxation has proven to be an effective tool to reduce stress and anxiety for those trying to get pregnant. In this program you will learn skills you can practice in a group or individual setting.

Massage Therapy

Massage has long been shown to have positive benefits in reducing stress. Studies have positively altered hormones levels in women experiencing stress during pre-natal care. It has also been shown to lead to improved mood and cardiovascular health.

For times and meeting dates or to register please call our offices at 713-401-9000.