How does stress affect your body and life?
Unfortunately, experiencing stress has become common in our daily lives. In today’s busy world many people feel stressed about their jobs, family, money, and even their fertility. While occasionally experiencing stress is normal and can even be helpful in certain situations; experiencing too much stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental well-being.
What is stress?
When we think about stress, we usually think of an uncomfortable feeling associated with high pressure situations. But stress is defined as the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This means that stress can come with change, good, bad, or neutral. A person who experiences a “normal” amount of stress may feel motivated, alert, or ready to avoid danger. Experiencing stress is helpful and keeps us safe, but stress can become unhelpful when it is constant.
Symptoms of stress
People who experience high levels of stress more often may see negative physical and emotional signs or symptoms. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of stress include:
- Aches and pains
- Increased heart rate
- Indigestion or acid reflux symptoms
- Changes in weight or eating habits
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Decreased libido
- Struggles with infertility
Why fertility is affected by stress
A common reaction to stress is the fight or flight response. We deal with stress through this response, by either fighting or fleeing the stressor. When our bodies enter into this response all nonessential systems shut down so our survival instincts are able to take over. Our reproductive systems are not necessary in a fight or flight situation, so those systems will not function as they should. Prolonged stress may continue to keep your reproductive systems from working properly and interfere with fertility.
Can stress levels affect your period?
Yes, your period and ovulation can definitely be caused by stress. Stress and anxiety often induces hormonal changes that can cause abnormal periods. Stress hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone can affect your menstrual cycle’s schedule, causing your period to be late or lead to spotting. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any menstrual changes in order to determine if your irregular period is caused by stress, uterine fibroids, or something else.
How to tackle stress?
Many people believe their lives would be so much better if they didn’t have to experience stress. But a life without stress would not keep us out of danger or help us adapt to change. Instead of trying to completely get rid of stress, it is important to find productive coping skills for managing stressful situations and reducing stress in our daily lives. Managing stress is not an exact science, but the following can help you find what works best for you:
- Exercising regularly
- Following a healthy diet
- Making sure to get enough rest
- Leaving time every day for hobbies
- Using relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation
- Spending time with friends and family
What if your infertility is not stress related?
Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that are located in the uterus. Many women will develop fibroids before the age of 50. While some women may not experience any symptoms, others often struggle with chronic pain. However, fibroids can have a negative impact on fertility based on a few different factors:
- Changing the shape of your cervix, allowing less sperm to enter
- Changing the shape of the uterus that blocks the movement of sperm or an embryo
- Blocking the fallopian tubes
- Impacting the size of the uterine cavity lining
- Reducing blood flow to the uterine cavity, which then won’t allow an embryo to implant
An ultrasound can determine if uterine fibroids may be the cause of your fertility issues. A fibroid specialist can work with you to decide on the next steps for treatment.
Non-surgical treatment for fibroids
If you are struggling with infertility and have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids you should know that there is a non-surgical treatment option available. At USA Fibroid Centers, we offer a treatment option called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) that is effective at treating uterine fibroids while preserving a women’s uterus and fertility.
At our uterine fibroids embolization treatment center, our interventional radiologist will perform the procedure with the help of a live ultrasound. This non-surgical fibroid pain treatment is completed in 30 to 45 minutes under local anesthesia, and you will return home the same day to finish your recovery. You will be able to resume your daily activities within two weeks of treatment.
Get in touch with the USA Fibroid Centers at 855.615.2555 or schedule your consultation online with one of our fibroid specialists at for further information on UFE.