March 11, 2022

5 Tips to Reduce Stress and Boost Fertility

Author: Rita Health team

Our world continues to be comprised of stressful events, especially over the past two years. Given that distress can be defined as not having the resources to deal with what we are faced with, this is a good time to focus on increasing the resources available to you through personal tools and community.

One of our collaborators, Dr. Alice Domar, is a practicing reproductive health psychologist, the Director of the Domar Centers for Mind/Body Health and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, part-time. Through her research, it has been shown that there is a correlation between stress and fertility. Domar’s Center offers a 10-week mind/body program which includes stress management, relaxation techniques including yoga and meditation, and strategies to improve health habits so that participants learn ways to overcome negative thought patterns and achieve improved physical and psychological health.

Rita Health not only seeks to make life as future parents less daunting but to create a world where we feel empowered to transform our reactions to the circumstances in our lives and to increase the resources available to us.

We’re sharing five helpful tips on reducing stress which may have the ability to proactively boost your fertility.

Navigating Stress

Trying to conceive is a stressful endeavor for many, and it could also negatively affect your mental outlook when it comes to your fertility. Stress has long been suspected to impact fertility in a wide variety of ways. For example, when faced with stressful situations, our body produces cortisol, known as the stress hormone.

High cortisol levels can negatively affect both male and female reproductive systems, and it can delay or suppress ovulation in women. So how do you know if stress is the culprit when you're struggling to conceive? Rita Health aims to be proactive in our approach to fertility health, so you may want to consider these five stress-reduction strategies.

Find Something You Enjoy Doing That Makes You Feel Happy

The more relaxed you are, the better. Now is the perfect time to tap into your inner creativity! Set aside some time to read your favorite book, watch a highly recommended tv show, take up a new hobby, return to the passions of your childhood, or spend some quality time with a loved one.

Take Care of Yourself by Eating Right 

A healthy and colorful food palate leads to a strengthened mind and body. Have a conversation with a nutritionist or physician to discover the best food regime and weight management tips for you. Try meal prepping or experimenting with a new cookbook for healthy and enjoyable dishes. One popular recommendation is to follow the 80/20 plan which means that if 80% of the food you eat is the fruits/veggies, lean meats, fish, whole grains variety, the other 20% can be reasonable amounts of the food you may crave.

Partake in Regular Exercise

Getting into a moderate physical routine will help you feel stronger and decrease stress levels. Regularly exercising is an excellent opportunity to experiment with new practices - and alongside a friend. Constantly moving your body gives room for a healthier mind.

Try Not to Worry about Things You have No Control Over.

It's important to find ways to let go of worry. Try talking with someone you trust about what's on your mind, journaling, or keeping a gratitude diary.

Implement Yoga and other Relaxation Strategies

Yoga is an excellent option for people looking for alternative ways to ease stress levels and improve fertility. Though yoga is not definitely linked to fertility, it is beneficial to deal with stress and there is some preliminary evidence that it might increase the odds of conception. It can help relieve pain caused by endometriosis or uterine fibroids, improve breathing and relaxation techniques and improve overall movement.

Managing your stress gives room to improve the quality of your day to day life. Not only does stress reduction provide an inviting environment for conception, it helps you adopt valuable tools to make it through each day. To give yourself a better chance of trying to conceive, Rita Health highly recommends adopting some of our tips into your self-care regimen.

Be Empowered

Reducing your stress doesn’t necessarily mean you need to live in a bubble or cut out all the things that make life worth living, but it does mean taking action where you can keep your stress levels low daily.  It’s also important to be aware of any stress triggers that could hinder your fertility so you can avoid them as much as possible.

While on your journey of stress management, be sure to join our study.

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