To be clear, STRESS IS NOT THE REASON YOU ARE NOT GETTING PREGNANT. And no, “just relaxing” won’t automatically get you pregnant. (See our previous blog post on infertility emotional support and what NOT to say to people struggling with infertility.) But stress is a component of overall health, and overall health is very important in fertility cases.
The link between infertility and stress has been prevalent for years, and now researchers actually have data that suggests preconception stress might play a role in infertility, as a December 2014 article in the Buffalo News reports:
Courtney Denning-Johnson Lynch, director of reproductive epidemiology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and colleagues found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase – a biological indicator of stress measured in saliva – are 29 percent less likely to get pregnant each month and are more than twice as likely to meet the clinical definition of infertility (remaining not pregnant despite 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse), compared to women with low levels of this protein enzyme.
Since reducing stress will certainly benefit other areas of your life, we at Collaborative Care believe that managing stress is an important component of overall and fertility health management.
While the acupuncture we do is specifically for fertility, it also has the added benefit of reducing stress. While there has long been anecdotal evidence of acupuncture relieving stress, recent research is starting to uncover the HOW and WHY of acupuncture’s stress-relieving mechanisms (See Georgetown University Medical Center’s 2013 Press Release: Series of studies first to examine acupuncture’s mechanisms of action.) Indeed, many patients report a deep feeling of relaxation during and after acupuncture treatments.
For those wanting to delve deeper into stress-relieving and health-building techniques of the Eastern medicine world on their own, we recommend Mantak Chia’s wonderful little book “Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality” that guides readers through simple Taoist, qigong techniques to relieve stress and build health. We often loan our copy out to patients, so ask us next time you’re here!