Often underestimated, stress can actually be the culprit of various health problems in the body, both physically and psychologically. In addition, stress is also even known to trigger fertility disorders in men and women.
There is a biological explanation for why emotional conditions such as stress can trigger fertility problems. Reporting from the Verywell Family, it turns out that the condition empties into the brain, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis).
Every time your body feels stressed, the hypothalamus gland in the brain sends signals to the pituitary gland. These signals indicate that you are stressed and need help. Then, the pituitary reacts to the call for help, then sends its own signal to the adrenal gland to release the stress hormone cortisol.
In fact, when the cortisol hormone is released in reasonable amounts, its presence can help regulate blood sugar. Conversely, if cortisol is released too much and occurs in a long period of time, then this can endanger health.
The link between stress and fertility
The hypothalamus and pituitary don’t only regulate stress hormones. Both are also responsible for regulating reproductive hormone signals. The hypothalamus releases the hormone GnRH. Then, the GnRH hormone signals the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
Both the FSH hormone and the LH hormone stimulate the growth of eggs in the ovaries of women and the growth of sperm in men. Now, if the HPA is only “busy” dealing with stress, then in theory, this can change the way reproductive hormones work, causing infertility.
The relationship between stress and fertility problems is also justified by Dr. Reza Fahlevi. He mentioned that there was a 2002 medical study that found that male infertility was triggered by stress and burn out at work.
“For example there are men, stress and depression can cause erectile dysfunction and decreased quality and quantity of sperm,” explained dr. Reza.
Not only that, a number of studies also mentioned that stress in men can also slow down a couple’s pregnancy program. Because when stressed, the production of the male hormone testosterone and sperm will also decrease.
Other factors that can affect fertility
“Stress is related to the reduction of mucus from the cervix during ovulation, which also affects the fertilization process,” said dr. Dyah
High levels of the hormone cortisol in a woman’s body will eventually also reverse ovulation, so this can be bad news for women who want to get pregnant.
However, besides stress, there are also several things that can affect male fertility, including:
- Environmental factor
- Habit and lifestyle factors
- Dietary habit
- Often wear tight pants
- Soak often in hot water
- Swim in the pool which is high in chlorine
- Radiation exposure
Whereas in women, other things that can trigger infertility include:
- The body is too thin
- Genetic factors
- Exposure to chemicals
- Strenuous exercise
For men and women, stress can also interfere with reproductive health, which can trigger fertility disorders. Therefore, be smart in managing stress. Do your hobbies, calm your mind with meditation, and maximize it with a healthy diet with balanced nutrition and good rest patterns. If you are pregnant, eat foods that are known to increase fertility, such as dairy products, green vegetables, seeds, or bananas.