When you have decided to start trying to conceive (TTC), it’s hard not to let your emotions run away with you. The expectation and pressure can easily mount up. Here on ThinkBaby you can find some useful tips on How to relax when TTC but why is being de-stressed so important?
Conception and your hormones
In order to conceive you need to have a good, regular menstrual cycle which will release eggs ripe for fertilising and which will create the perfect conditions in your womb in which the fertilised egg can successfully be implanted. Hormones in the right amount, released at the right time, are vital to this whole process.
The gonadotrophin-releasing hormone is key to triggering the monthly cycle. It is the signal for the follicle-stimulating hormone to be released and this then nudges the production of three other key hormones at the right time through the cycle (oestrogen, luteinising hormone and progesterone). For more on this go to Understanding Your Menstural Cycle.
Stress and your hormones
If you are experiencing a high level of stress then the progesterone needed as part of the vital chain above can be severely affected. It might be converted instead to cortisol (the stress-hormone) and affect the levels and efficiency of the blend of hormones needed to get an egg released, fertilised and safely implanted in the womb.
For more about how this affects conception go to Progesterone and Pregnancy.
In addition, the pituitary gland may also still be producing too much prolactin. This will also affect the body’s ability to produce the hormones essential for conception in the right balanced quantities.
You might well have found that in other times of your life, stress and changes to weight and lifestyle have affected the regularity of your periods; what happens above is just the same – the stress can be a block to successful conception.
What can you do about stress when TTC?
It is so hard, when you are desperate to get pregnant, to hear the words ‘lighten up’. Here at ThinkBaby we know that TTC demands a much more complicated set of emotions from you than that.
Do have a look at How to relax when TTC and check out Facing Disappointments with Trying to Conceive. Plus there is a useful article about Other People’s Pregnancies if you are finding other women’s pregnancy news hard to accept.
Really try not to worry as most couples take at least six months to get pregnant even when they are having regular sex and have no known medical problems.
Take care, and good luck!