Stress has a direct effect on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system, which is responsible for regulating and producing hormones in the body. It even releases primary stress hormone, cortisol and prolactin, both of which can effect ovulation and fertilisation, even in fertile women.
The hypothalamus is also responsible for producing the hormones that ultimately release the eggs for fertilisation. It delays the ovulation process in women. This process of delaying menstrual cycle, thereby ovulation process is known as anovulation. Ovulation is a process that tells you your most fertile time. The hypothalamus further regulates the levels of testosterone in the father’s body. Stress in men can also cause impotency, low-sperm count and reduced sexual activity. Thus, suffering from stress could lead to your delay in getting pregnant.
Stress has an effect on the cervical mucus or the white discharge associated with menstruation. The white discharge is a signal for menstruation. If you are stressed you can have wet mucus for days with alternate dry days, thus delaying your menstruation and ovulation dates.
You need to work out the causes of your stress and start eliminating them if you planning to conceive. Maintaining good food habits, regular exercise and some amount of Yoga help in overcoming stress. Even spending some leisure time with your partner could reduce the stress levels in your as well as your partner’s body. In extreme cases cognitive behaviour therapies are advised for relieving stress.
A new report suggests that stressful events in pregnant mothers result in the death of infants in their first year of life. Stress is also related to high blood pressure, which leads to preterm labour or low birth-weight babies. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious issue during pregnancy. It is a result of traumatic events faced by the mother and also leads to preterm labour and low-birth-weight babies.
Excessive stress during pregnancy affects the brain development of the baby and the symptoms are manifested only after a baby has grown up. It is also said to cause sleep and digestive disorders in babies.
You can talk to other expecting mothers, friends or relatives to relieve your stress. Listening to music, doing leisure activities, taking a break from work or regular chores also helps relieve stress to a large extent.