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High Stress May Reduce Fertility in Women, New Study Finds

A study of 4,769 women suggests that a woman’s fertility may be influenced by how stressed you are. Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health found that, while higher levels of stress were associated with a lower chance of conception, the converse didn’t appear to be true when it comes to a male’s chance of conceiving a child, Sunday Times reported.

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Researchers speculated that one factor in this could be that, if women are experiencing high levels of stress, they may be more reluctant to have intercourse. Increased irregularity of their menstrual cycles — which can be affected by stress — may also be at play.

It’s well-known that hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can make women more vulnerable to anxiety, so it makes sense that these changes can also affect you when you’re trying to conceive. But either way, there are certain lifestyle changes you can make to reduce stress in your life — and that includes everyone, male or female. For example:

  • Make sure to get enough sleep, because studies show that anxiety symptoms can increase when you’re sleep-deprived.
  • Change your diet so that you’re eating fresh and organically grown fruits and vegetables, high-quality grass fed protein, and healthy fats, all of which benefit both mental and physical health.
  • Make exercise and movement part of your daily activities, as it not only enhances mood, potentially lessening anxiety risk, but helps you feel better all over as your body is healthier when you move.
  • Try to reduce your exposure to microwave radiation from electronic devices such as baby monitors, cellphones, Wi-Fi routers and smart meters, as excessive free radicals triggered by microwave exposure has been linked to anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, cardiac arrhythmia, depression and infertility.

It’s also important to learn to distinguish anxiety disorders from everyday emotions. As I explain in my article on this topic, clinical anxiety refers to a group of disorders that can cause nervousness, apprehension and worrying. The good news is you can alleviate anxiety with natural treatment methods that don’t involve drugs. Learning relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga can help; my favorite among these strategies is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

Based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture, minus the needles, EFT calls for using your fingertips to tap and stimulate different energy meridian points in your body while reciting custom-made verbal affirmations to yourself.

People with anxiety disorders can benefit from EFT as it was shown to increase positive emotions like hope and happiness, and lessen negative emotional states. EFT also targets two parts of your brain, namely the amygdala and the hippocampus, which help you decide whether an object is a threat or not, and assist with reducing levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

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