Can stress effect fertility ?

All over the world, humans have made their lives more comfortable and luxurious. Many modern advancements are making life easier, travel faster, and are increasing communications. Though there are so many physical advancements, the mental health of people is taking its toll. Stress levels are high due to ever-demanding busy lives.

When a couple decides to journey towards parenthood, many adjustments have to be made. Though this is a joyous occasion in anyone’s life, one has to think about their reproductive health, finances, and lifestyle. Apart from taking care of one’s fertility, they also have to be careful in handling stress. Stress is not good for the whole body, including fertility. 

If either of the partners is suffering from infertility, that itself adds to levels of stress.

Defining Stress

Stress is an emotional or physical tension that disrupts the body’s natural processes and causes physical symptoms like aches and pains, exhaustion, and difficulty having sex. Stress is a natural, inbuilt mechanism as a way of the body’s response to challenges or demands. Stimuli to stress are events that make you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.

How are stress and female fertility related?

The main effect is on the female’s hormonal system, followed by ovulation issues. While undergoing stress, the body thinks that it is not an ideal time to have a baby and reacts accordingly. Another major concern is that some resort to unhealthy lifestyle habits to deal with stress. People take up binge eating, consuming high sugar content since it gives temporary relief, and start smoking or drinking excessively. All these changes are detrimental to a woman’s fertility since they cause an increase in weight and hormone system disturbances. Sleep also gets affected due to smoking.

Menstrual Cycle Regularity

Research has shown a significant impact of stress on the menstrual cycle regularity. With an irregular menstrual cycle, women are less likely to get pregnant compared to women with regular cycles. When periods are irregular, timed intercourse also becomes a challenge.

How are stress and male fertility related?

Stress impacts several aspects of male fertility, especially sperm quality, negatively.  

Studies show a negative impact on the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone in men. Hence, sperm production gets affected, resulting in reduced sperm quality. Stress could be from both personal and professional lives. A negative environment at work affects men’s semen volume and the percentage of sperm with observed normal motility. So, occupational stress can affect semen quality.  

During intercourse, if men are struggling, especially in getting or maintaining an erection, they are very likely to experience stress. When the male partner has erectile dysfunction (ED), it can also cause stress in the female partner.

How can you manage stress when planning for a pregnancy?

Fortunately, many relaxation techniques can effectively reduce stress and negative emotions. Relaxation techniques reduce negative emotions in patients undergoing medical treatment, and in extreme cases, fertility specialists may recommend psychological intervention. Psychosocial interventions have been shown to improve marital relationship pregnancy rates and are more beneficial for infertile couples.

For any stress that you might be experiencing, we at ZIVA Fertility Clinics recommend the following relaxation techniques:


Yoga is wonderful since it not only reduces stress but also helps in improving fertility. Regular practice of yoga helps you achieve an improved hormonal and immune system. Yoga helps reduce concentrations of cortisol, which is the main stress hormone in the body. Only by practicing yoga for 12-16 weeks can you experience significant reductions in stress and improvements in several other psychological health measures.


Massages, especially fertility massages, may help to decrease cortisol levels and also improve embryo implantation. Fertility massages also help in: 

  • Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs
  • Helping to break down scar tissue and adhesions
  • Improving absorption of vitamins and nutrients 
  • Helping to regulate the menstrual cycle.

Drink healthy beverages and eat the right way.

Lack of proper healthy fluids in the body causes disorientation, unclear thinking, and mood changes that eventually lead to stress. When we replenish the body with healthy plain water, there is a certain decreased risk of depression and anxiety. This is due to the fact the body is nourished with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. When there is sufficient nutrition in the body, the hormonal system works at its best, and the brain is also active.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation has been around for many, many years and provides innumerable benefits to both the mind and body. We at ZIVA fertility clinics advise our patients to devote at least 10 to 15 minutes each morning and before bed to meditation. Meditation helps in increasing focus, transforming thoughts, reducing heart rate, and improving sleep.  

Especially if patients are undergoing any ART method like IVF, IUI, etc, then they should take up meditation regularly. A Stress-free, happy mind is necessary for healthy ART results. Then, the medication works nicely, and ovulation happens appropriately.

Sleep is the best stress buster

Lack of proper sleep is a major cause of physical stress. The hormonal system, immune system, blood circulation, and digestion all go haywire without proper sleep. Apart from general health issues, many studies have confirmed that insufficient sleep can affect men’s and women’s overall reproductive health.

To sleep better, please swap out late-night TV to practicing relaxation techniques, listening to light music, going on a walk, or spending time in nature.

Seeking professional support

We seek out medical help for any physical problem immediately, including infertility. Similarly, please get professional help if you feel like you are unable to manage your stress. You might seek help for psychological outcomes, marital relationships, and pregnancy rates among infertile couples.

The fertility treatment journey can be long and arduous. Be sure to take note of your mental health throughout treatment and speak with a professional should you feel it necessary. 

The Bottom Line about “Can stress affect fertility?”

Stress is pervasive, and its effects include fertility. We at ZIVA Fertility Clinics believe in providing both medical and non-medical help to our patients who consult us. We deal with all aspects of infertility, including physical, mental, and emotional issues. In this blog, “Can stress affect fertility?” we have listed comprehensive methods to overcome stress.

For more information, please get in touch with +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024 or visit our website