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A Fertility Doctor’s Response to “Relax and You’ll Get Pregnant”

Relax and you’ll get pregnant is something no one wants to hear

During National Fertility Week (April 24-May 1), Texas Fertility Center supported RESOLVE’s ‘Bust a Myth About Infertility” campaign. One of the most commonly heard myths is relax and you’ll get pregnant. This is one myth worth talking about with your friends and family. Tell them vacations don’t cure infertility. However, targeted fertility testing and effective treatments can lead to success.

At Texas Fertility Center, we highly recommend learning to manage stress. However, unwinding for a weekend won’t cure infertility. Trust us. These trite words of advice – relax and you’ll get pregnant – will never appear on a reproductive endocrinologist’s prescription pad.

Relax and you’ll get pregnant  – Busting the myth

First off, if you’ve tried unsuccessfully for 12 months (or 6 if you are over 35) and are still not pregnant, it’s time to see us. One in 8 couples experience infertility because a lot can go wrong. Eggs age. Sperm act lazy. The uterus won’t accept visitors.

You wouldn’t tell a person with diabetes or cystic fibrosis to relax and wait for the symptoms to go away, right? That’s relax and you’ll get pregnant is bad advice.

Now that we’ve established the myth, let’s examine the physiological impact of stress. Extreme, chronic, long-term stress will impact your overall health. In some women, chronic stress can cause irregular menstrual cycles and thus irregular ovulation.

Psychologists report that infertility causes stress nearly as acute as that experienced by women undergoing treatment for cancer or heart disease. The roller-coaster life of a couple undergoing infertility treatment can undoubtedly test your mental and physical strength.

Top 5 ways to minimize stress during fertility treatment

Exercise. Moderate physical activities such as power walking, yoga and Zumba dancing release endorphins that combat stress. Intensive workouts could disrupt the reproductive cycle, so ask your physician or nurse about the ideal exercise regimen.

Add acupuncture. Some studies show the centuries-old practice of acupuncture improves fertility rates. Like physical therapy, patients typically see results only with regular, ongoing treatment.

Get a massage. If the idea of spending more money on a spa visit sounds counter-productive, find a massage therapy school or rent a how-to video for your partner.

Meditate. Trigger the relaxation response with slow, abdominal breathing and visualization. In addition to lowering your stress level, meditation may improve sleep patterns and concentration.

Enlist support. Talking about infertility helps, and no one can empathize quite like your partner. Groups such as Resolve or private counseling also reinforce the consoling message that you are not alone.

Contact us and we promise you’ll never hear relax and you’ll get pregnant.

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