Is STRESS Impacting Your Fertility?

Apr 1 | Fertility | 1384 Views
stress and fertility

Does stress rule your life?

Do you need more hours in the day?

Are you running from one thing to the next and juggling multiple balls?

Do you have trouble sleeping? Or maybe feel so exhausted through the day that coffee is basically an intravenous therapy for you?

All of these things are signs that stress may be impacting you in more ways than one. We live in a society that glorifies being busy. We have started putting the hustle of everyday life, of doing all the things, of saying yes all the time on a pedestal.

Living in this go-go-go lifestyle may be okay for a bit. It may actually feel good. But the truth is, underneath it all your body is slowly starting to suffer.

Our adrenal glands are two small organs responsible for providing our body with a hormone called cortisol. We need cortisol to survive. It has a predictable pattern throughout the day that is optimal.

When we are stressed, busy, and on the move all the time, our adrenal glands need to pump out more and more cortisol to keep us going at our current pace. And our body wants to please our brain. It will keep doing this as long as the demand is there – or atleast until it can’t anymore.


Stress and cortisol can be impacting your fertility on so many levels.


If your cortisol is high, your progesterone will be low. This is because in the state of high cortisol our body is more focused on danger, regardless if danger is there or not. High cortisol happens in a state of sympathetic overdrive, also known as your flight or fight nervous system. This is the nervous system that keeps us safe. When our body thinks it’s in danger, even if that danger is just a deadline approaching, it is NOT focused on reproducing.

High cortisol also blocks our progesterone receptors. So even if your body is making some progesterone, you won’t be using it properly.

If you have low progesterone it makes getting pregnant and staying pregnant very difficult. Through early pregnancy, like before you even get a positive test, progesterone increases drastically to signal to your body that you are pregnant and changes need to happen to maintain this pregnancy. If this can’t happen because cortisol is in the way, even if a good fertilized egg is in there, it likely won’t attached and grow the way it should.


High levels of cortisol also impacts your thyroid function. If you’ve been on the blog before you’ll know that optimal thyroid health is crucial for optimal fertility. High cortisol can impact the conversion of your thyroid hormones, impact the way your body uses thyroid hormones, and lead to higher levels of thyroid antibodies. 

Insulin Resistance

If you haven’t checked out the blog on insulin resistance, make sure you read it here. Insulin is a hormone often overlooked in women’s health. It’s so crucial to make sure your body has a healthy amount of insulin and glucose and that it’s using it properly so that you’ve ovulating. When your cortisol is high, your body is more prone to insulin resistance and therefore may impact your ability to ovulate every month.


All of this being said, stress can be impacting literally every aspect of your body. More than just the three things mentioned above.


When it comes to reducing cortisol, the first step is to identify that how you are currently swirling through life isn’t serving you.

Once you can recognize that you are busy, you can actually start to make changes and hold space for yourself to heal.

Some things to start doing today are:

  1. Schedule in your self care. Yes, this may seem counterintuitive. But if you’re a busy woman, it isn’t just going to be an overnight change to this zen, less busy version of yourself. You will need to schedule in your me time and that’s okay. Self care looks different for every woman. Instead of rhyming off 100 suggestions you’ve read or heard before, the best advice we can give is think of something you absolutely love to do that you’ve been too busy for. Then schedule it in. This is the ultimate form of self care because it is something specific to you.
  2. 2 minutes of deep breathing exercises every night. This will help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest and digest nervous system. It will lower you out of sympathetic overdrive and get you ready for a good, restful sleep. We like to recommend a free app called Breathe+. Set your inhalation and exhalation for 4-5 seconds and the timer to 2 minutes and just connect with your breath.
  3. Start to say NO. You do not need to be everything to everybody around you. Take making it this far in this particular blog post as a sign that it’s time to start prioritizing yourself and your health. It’s okay to be selfish when it comes to taking care of you. Sometimes, this means you will need to say no to social events, extra work tasks, or doing everything around the house in order to give yourself the break you deserve and to prioritize your self care time.

Positive affirmations are another great tool to help you reduce stress, anxiety and keep your mood elevated during a difficult time. If you don’t already follow us over on Instagram, make sure you come check it out. We post positive fertility affirmations that you can use daily as a form of self care each week. Click here to find us on IG.

If you’re interested in how HHA can help improve your chances of getting pregnant, book your free 20-minute discovery call here.