How does chronic stress affect your fertility? Read on to learn more.
Sometimes stress is inevitable, but too much stress may negatively impact infertility. Researchers have found evidence that acute stress, or stress pertaining to a specific stressful event, can affect sperm quality. Just two or more stressful events in a year decreased sperm motility and increased abnormal sperm morphology. Another study found that occupational stress may decrease testosterone production.
Since it’s hard to completely avoid stress, it’s helpful to find ways to manage it. The effects of stress are not limited to fertility, and it may affect other aspects of physical and mental health.
There are many different ways to manage stress, including:
- Physical activity: Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and make you feel better physically. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym—even taking a brisk walk a few times a week is beneficial.
- Mindfulness: Yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness activities encourage you to clear your mind, helping you take a break from the source of stress.
- Eat right: Sticking to a nutritious, balanced diet can benefit both your physical and mental health.
- Sleep well: Sticking to a regular sleep schedule and observing good sleep hygiene can be difficult when you’re busy, but it offers many benefits to your physical and mental well being.
- Therapy: Speaking to a therapist can give you insight into your stressors and how to manage them.