Why do we get stressed pregnancy?
Stress often arises because we do not feel in control of a particular area of our lives. If your work is going well or your finances are healthy, the chances are they are not causing you any stress. However, if you rarely take a holiday or are constantly short of sleep because you are worrying about work or debts, you will probably have raised levels of stress hormones.
Stress levels often rise when couples start trying for a baby. There is no doubt that trying and failing to get pregnant month after month does also impact on levels of stress which, in turn, can affect a woman's fertility.
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I see many women who are highly able, organized people, used to planning every area of their lives and to reaping the rewards of hard work and dedication. Suddenly, they start trying to get pregnant and realize that their fertility, which up until now they had controlled (by actively avoiding getting.
Find out more: responding to stress.
The body is primed to deal with physical threats and stresses with a rapid set of defences known as the fight or flight‚ response. However, problems occur when these high-gear reactions occur in response to psychological stressors too – anything from managing a huge workload to making ends meet. Triggered repeatedly these inevitably take their toll on the body.
The nervous system is a vast network of nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord to reach every part of the body; it is the source of our consciousness and the initiator of all our actions. It also has autonomic functions that monitor and control the body's internal environment and unconscious processes such as breathing. The working partners within the autonomic nervous system are the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branches, which have opposing effects but balance each other most of the time. The sympathetic branch helps us respond to an emergency, and deal with stress, frustration, and anger by speeding up thinking and getting us prepared for action (see below). The parasympathetic branch restores a resting state that is important to well-being and fertility.