Dec 26, 2023 | Infertility

Struggling to conceive? How anxiety effects fertility

How Anxiety Affects Fertility

Anxiety can impact your life in so many different ways. It causes everything from feelings of fear to helplessness. It can contribute to physical symptoms like nausea, sweating, palpitations, and fatigue.  And when you are trying to have a baby, anxiety can become an even greater enemy. 

Unfortunately, trying to   conceive while you are struggling with anxiety can lead to a vicious cycle. You might be stressed about not getting pregnant and in turn stress and worry can make it harder to conceive. 

So, what is the connection between anxiety and fertility? How can stress and worry make it more difficult to have a baby? And what can you do about it? 

Your Body

Couples struggling with infertility have been shown to have higher levels of anxiety than the rest of the population. In fact, 8-28% of couples dealing with infertility issues report having significant anxiety. Stress and your hormones are more connected than you might think.

Dr. Alice Domar, the author of “Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar’s Mind/Body Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility” created a mind/body program to help women recognize psychological stress and learn tools in order to cope with stress and minimize its harmful impact. You can learn about her program here:  where she explains the relationship between stress response and fertility.

If you were already prone to anxiety or struggling with it before trying to conceive, being in a state of anxiousness may make it harder to conceive. 

When you’re dealing with infertility, you are under stress that evokes fight-or-flight response

which in turn can make you feel disconnected from your own body, not grounded.  Of course, that leads to more stress and perpetuates the cycle of anxiety. 

What can you do to help your body not to go into fight-or-flight response?

  1.  Thoughts and Feelings Negative scary thoughts can send us into fight-or-flight mode. Processing your emotions, talking about your fears, “worst case” scenarios, and feelings can help regulate your emotions and emotional response. Fertility counseling can help you find a safe space to express your emotions, talk about your fears without being judged, and learn tool to manage stress
  2. Self-care can help you to feel reconnected and less-stressed, this can include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, or walks in nature.
  3.  Connect with your partner Talk to your partner about your struggle. Opening up can provide that reassurance that you are not alone no matter what and can help you feel connected.
  4. Social connection Going through infertility is incredibly isolating. Isolation makes anxiety and depression worse. When you are alone, you tend to focus on negative thoughts and “worst case scenarios”. Social engagement, connection helps reduce anxiety, when you feel understood, your experience validated, and you feel seen, you will feel better. Reach out! Resolve. Org have tons of resources and offer peer led support groups in every location.

Having anxiety while struggling with infertility is normal and understandable. Reproductive trauma happens when our reproductive story does not go the way we imagined. If you are struggling with infertility and you find yourself feeling constantly stressed, worried, and anxious, you can benefit from fertility counseling.

Fertility Counseling can help you process underlying negative anxiety provoking thoughts and teach you coping skills such as grounding. It can provide you with the skills to make the journey toward conception less stressful.

I specialize in infertility counseling and third-party reproduction consultations. Please, feel free to contact me to find out how I can help you move forward in your desire to have a baby. 

Become What You Are Meant To Be.

If you are ready to begin working on your recovery, please email or call me at 424 256 0160 for your free, 15-minute consultation to see how my approach can help you discover greater happiness and a deeper connection.