If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you already know that conceiving can be a stressful situation. If you aren’t successful after a few months, you may start to worry. For some people, that worry leads to stress that can take over your whole life. But could that stress be what’s actually keeping you from getting pregnant in the first place?

Many studies have shown that both short-term and long-term stressors cause your body to release certain hormones. These natural chemicals allow your body to deal with physical and psychological stressors and help you cope with everything around you. The problem with these hormones is if you keep releasing them over time.

Every cycle in the human body, including ovulation, is controlled by hormones. So it’s logical to assume that since stress changes hormone levels, it could also affect fertility. While most people accept this theory, it’s never actually been proven in clinical studies. However, these studies aren’t perfect and reducing your body’s stress level is hardly ever a bad thing.

While stress has not been shown to make a woman become infertile, it could make it harder to become pregnant because of other factors.

Most women know pretty well that excess stress can wreak havoc on your menstrual cycle. It can not only change the timing of your period, but also the timing of ovulation. Therefore, if you’re using a calendar to try to increase your chances of pregnancy, you may miss the time of your ovulation. If you think stress is altering your cycle, try using fertility monitors to figure out when you’re most fertile.

While the reason is still unknown, stress is a fairly well-known cause of miscarriage. Since many miscarriages occur before a woman even knows she’s pregnant and are often mistaken for a normal (or early) period, miscarrying could be mistaken for infertility. If this is the case, you need to try to reduce your stress during your entire pregnancy to prevent future miscarriages.

While doctors really aren’t sure if stress is a factor in pregnancy, it’s usually not very good for the body. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you usually try to eat right, and get enough exercise, but why not add some relaxation and stress relief into your daily routine as well. Here are some simple stress-relieving tips:

* Exercise. Generally, women can do the same exercises during pregnancy as they did before they got pregnant. So, in addition to reducing stress and making you healthier, getting started now will help you to stay fit while you’re pregnant.

* Sleep. Studies have shown over and over again that getting enough sleep is essential for being healthy. It helps you think clearer, work harder, and can even help you lose weight. Getting enough sleep is also good for managing your stress levels.

* Meditation. This is a great way to reduce stress if you don’t have a lot of time or can’t perform physical activity. Plus, it can be a great way to help ease you to sleep if you’re having problems.

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