One of the most frequent questions women ask me when trying to conceive is “Why am I not getting pregnant?”
They may have been trying for a number of months, some even years and still nothing is happening. It’s the most frustrating thing for a couple.
You start to worry and wonder “is there something wrong?”
You are monitoring your BMT, your mucus, tracking your ovulation, avoiding alcohol and coffee and still nothing is happening. You have been to your GP and everything seems healthy, you are sleeping well, you’re at a healthy weight you have no major stressors in your life and still while everything is pointing towards a perfect environment for conception nothing is happening.
Some of us are great planners and when set a task will open up excel and begin planning Project Baby. This however has the potential to cause more stress than needed whether you feel stressed or not.
The planners in us want to make sure the environment is right, that we are set up financially, that we have sex enough but not too much or that we are eating healthily. You may be concentrating on so much that sometimes it can create overwhelm but you don’t want to let go of it because you feel that that assumes you are letting go of the only bit of control you have over the situation.
All this planning and monitoring could actually be the one thing getting in the way. It’s a hard thing to do but I have witnessed many women conceive once they let go. Let go of the sense of control, the desire to monitor every single bodily change or piece of food they do or don’t eat.
We can be in control of many things like our nutrition, our health to a certain degree but when we are told to let go and sub come to Mother Nature it can be a difficult thing to do. The control freak in us wants to monitor, plan and track.
For others, letting go of it all can be even more stressful. You are not relaxed unless you are planning, tracking and monitoring as it gives you a sense of calm but does it really? You may feel at the end of the day you have done something because you have this super pretty “Project Baby” spreadsheet however when everything seems perfect and nothing is happening this can cause further stress, anxiety and frustration whether you like to admit it or not.
How stress can stop you from getting pregnant
When we are stressed the body releases the hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands at the top of our kidneys. Cortisol is important in the body to regulate stress, blood sugar, metabolism, immune responses, blood pressure to name but a few of its many jobs. When we are stressed the body goes into Fight or Flight mode and needs to make a decision to fight the tiger or flee. When faced with stress other systems like digestion and reproduction shut down. Its unfortunate that the reproductive system is the one system in the body we can live without. And when the cortisol gets too high or is released very frequently we can also over work our adrenal glands.
Some of our female sex hormones are also stored in the adrenal glands so you can imagine what happens to these if our adrenals are over worked, they become imbalanced too.
Here’s where it get’s trickey – when one hormone is imbalanced this can have a knock on effect to the rest of our hormones. Cortisol triggers the release of glucose for energy. This triggers the release of the hormone insulin and can cause blood sugar imbalances when it lurches from high to low very quickly. This in itself can also trigger a stress response, more cortisol is released, our adrenals are overworked and our sex hormones impacted. Imbalanced insulin, cortisol and sex hormones can make baby making a difficult process.
Numerous studies regarding couples conceiving children suggests that chronic stress can lead to reproductive dysfunction. Various stressors, including infection, malnutrition, anxiety and depression, trigger a rise in glucocorticoids that suppress reproductive functions.
So you can see how one hormone imbalance can trigger an imbalance in others however there are some things you can do to disarm the response:
Here are 3 steps to boost fertility naturally
When looking at natural ways to boost fertility and help a couple conceive I recommend 3 simple steps;
1. Implement some relaxation techniques:
This can help to reduce the level of cortisol in the body in turn have a knock on effect in balancing your sex hormones once the adrenals are supported. Click here for my top 10 relaxation tips! Try implementing 1 or even 1 per week depending on how stressed you are. You may not even feel “stressed” in its usual form but you may feel anxious, afraid or worried to plan or let go of planning. These are all emotions that can trigger a stress response. So while you may feel that your life currently has no form stressors at present you may unconsciously be putting pressure on yourself to conceive.
2. Support your adrenal glands with some stress relieving foods:
Foods such as wholegrains, salmon, green leafy vegetables, avocados, dark chocolate and nuts and seeds all contain nutrients such as omega 3, zinc, folate, B vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids and antioxidants that can support the impact of stress on the body.
3. Balance your blood sugar to help balance hormones:
You can do this really simply by having protein with your carbohydrates, eating 5-6 small meals per day, reducing your intake of stimulants and refined foods. You can read more about my top tips to balance your blood sugar and reduce cravings here.
4. Consider the real need to plan:
Ok I know I said 3 tips but I popped this one in for good measure (I like even numbers). Sometimes letting go of control can be a difficult thing to do. It may even increase your stress for a period of time but by doing this in conjunction with some relaxation techniques (above) in the long run it may benefit you wholly. You may become less uptight about things needing to be perfect and in turn balance your hormones to help boost your moods and fertility.
I hope this helps ease any frustration. If you and your partner are trying to conceive and want to look at some natural ways to boost your fertility or want some reassurance that your nutrition is on track then that’s what I’m here for. You can check out my packages here or give me a shout via email and we can set up a free 30 minute consultation to discuss how a nutrition review may give you the reassurance that you need in order to relax.
As always I’m here for support if needed so feel free to email me anytime.