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How Stress Effects Infertility Treatment

How Stress Effects Infertility Treatment
Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain
August19/ 2016

Infertility is a common problem seen in women between the age group 18-44. More than 10% of women face infertility issues due to many reasons. Infertility is a condition when the women are unable to conceive or become pregnant.  Research says that the patients undergoing infertility treatment generally face stressful conditions that can reduce the chances of conceiving.  Infertility can be due to both men and women or by both genders.

Men generally face infertility problems due to the less sperm count or sperm damage caused by certain diseases. Alcohol dependence, drug addiction, smoking and medicine side effects can also result in infertility problems in men. Women face infertility issues due to blocked fallopian tubes, uterine problems, uterine fibroids, and poor diet, stress and ovulation problems.

Infertility treatments

Infertility treatments can be classified into 3 categories.

  1. Medication

There are many medicines available in the market that is used to treat infertility in both men and women. The medications should be taken after doctor’s consultation only.

  1. Surgical treatment

Surgical treatments are generally used to remove obstructions that inhibit the ovulation and transfer of fertilized eggs. The common surgical problem includes:

  • If your fallopian tubes are blocked and damaged due to any previous disease or infection, it can be operated.
  • Surgery can be done to remove the cells when the cells from the lining of the womb grow in other areas of the body.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome can be treated with the help of laparoscopic surgery to remove the cyst. A keyhole surgery is done to remove the cyst from the body.
  • Fibroids in women can be removed from the body with surgery.
  • In men when the sperm cells are blocked in the tube due to some abnormality and infection, surgery will help in such cases to release the sperm cells.
  1. Assisted conception

Assisted conception includes different techniques that can help in treating patients with infertility. The different techniques are:

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. (ICSI)

Stress effects on Infertility treatment

Infertility treatment requires coordination from both partners irrespective of the partner who is getting treated. A healthy relationship shows good results in infertility treatment. Stress can have a bad impact on infertility treatment and give negative results.

Chronic stress can affect ovulation process in women by altering the signals that goes to the brain. There are certain hormones that trigger the ovaries to release eggs every month. Women under stress ovulate less regularly by making it difficult to plan the baby.

When you are in stress, your body releases a hormone called adrenaline. Adrenaline inhibits your body to utilize progesterone. Utilization of progesterone is essential for fertility. Stress also causes the pituitary gland to release high levels of prolactin that also results in infertility. Research says that extreme stress can boost the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline, catecholamine and cortisol in your body. These stress hormones inhibits the release of sex hormones in your body. The hormone required for releasing sex hormones in the body is GnRH (Gonadrotropin releasing hormone). As the sex hormones are not released in the body it results in suppression of ovulation process in women and reduce sperm count in men.

Hypothalamus is the central part of the brain that produces GnRH in un-stressful conditions. GnRH is known to pass signals to release the luteinizing hormones and follicle stimulating hormone from pituitary gland. When the hormones are released it helps in stimulating the gonads that is the ovaries in women and testes in men. This results in rise of sex hormones levels in both genders. This complete procedure gets disturbed in stressful condition leading to problems in infertility treatment.

Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain

Atefa Noorain, (Microbiologist) former Head of the Department of Life Sciences, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Sujatha Degree College for Women. She worked as an Associate Research Analyst at Thomson Reuters and an Associate Editor of two research journals. She has presented her research work in 3 International Conferences. She has written articles for national journals and international journals. She had been felicitated as a Young Speaker in the last conference. She has worked on Nanoparticles as a part of her research project and won the Best Scientist of the Day award.

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