How Stress Can Cause Infertility: My Struggle with Infertility

     A lot of different things effect a woman’s ability to get pregnant including; hormones, the menstrual cycle, the ovulation period, sexual intimacy and habits, and stress. I never believed that stress played that much of a role in fertility, but after suffering with infertility for two years, I am now a firm believer that stress can prevent a woman from getting pregnant. I know this to be true because I have experienced it myself.

    When my husband and I started dating there was a lot of drama and stress surrounding our relationship. It wasn’t our relationship and us that caused the stress but issues with my ex boyfriend and his girlfriend. This stress and drama continued on up until recently and prevented me from getting pregnant.

    After my husband and I got engaged we decided that we would try to start to get pregnant. We knew we were going to be together forever and wanted our forever and our family to start as soon as possible. My husband has a son from a previous marriage who is 4 and a half years old at the moment and he had always wanted his children to be close in age. He was also a lot older than me and had stated before that he did not want to be having kids in his late 30’s and early 40’s. So we started trying to get pregnant.

    After about 6 months of attempting to get pregnant with no success, I started getting more serious about it. I downloaded an app and religiously tracked my menstrual cycle and my ovulation days. My period is always religiously on time so it was easy to see which days I should have been ovulating very quickly. About a year later, after our wedding had come and gone and we had become man and wife, we were still not pregnant. So I started taking some ovulation tests to make sure that the app was correct in my ovulation days. However, the tests I took never showed me actually ovulating.

   I made an appointment with my gynecologist and explained to her that it had been about a year and a half of trying to get pregnant with no success. I explained to her that my cycle lasts 28 days on the dot, I have never missed a period, I had attempted to use ovulation tests with inconclusive results, and that I believed based on my cycle that I should be ovulating on days 10-14. She told me that she believed that I just needed some hormonal help to ovulate. So she provided me with one cycle of pills called clomid to help me ovulate.

    I took the clomid pills during the recommended time period and on my last day of the pills I started to feel the side effects. Sitting at work I started to have extreme hot flashes, nausea, and severe abdominal pain. The symptoms lasted a couple of days and although the hot flashes came and went, there was one day where my abdominal pain and nausea were so bad that I was forced to call into work. I was hopeful that because I was feeling so bad that the pills were working and that I was actually pregnant, but was surprised and disappointed when my period decided to show up.

    At the two year mark of infertility I had switched insurances at work and in doing so decided to switch gynecologists as well. I made an appointment with a new doctor and told her everything that I had told my last doctor and included the side effects of the clomid plus my weight loss struggles over the past couple of years. My doctor ran a complete set of infertility testing including; lab work, pelvic exam, urine tests, and a transvaginal ultrasound. She referred me to a primary care doctor in order to get a referral for a dietitian regarding the weight loss and told me that she believed it was possible that I wasn’t ovulating due to me being underweight.

    I met with my primary care doctor and was immediately accused of having an eating disorder. She couldn’t comprehend how I could be almost 6 ft tall and weight 120 lbs without having a drug / alcohol problem or having an eating disorder. She referred me to a dietitian and ran even more blood work to see what was going on. I met with the dietitian and was reassured after discussing my eating habits with her that my eating was normal.

    All of the tests that had been run on me by both my primary care doctor and gynecologist all came back normal and as such my husband and I were perplexed as to what could possibly be going on. After much discussion my husband was tested for infertility and his results came back normal as well. Disappointed my husband and I kind of gave up on trying to get pregnant and agreed that if we couldn’t eventually get pregnant on our own than one day we would try to adopt.

    On March 14, 2018 the drama and stress with my exboyfriend and his girlfriend ceased. The truth was revealed about everything that had happened, apologies were said, and closure was finally achieved. After I wrote my blog post entitled Apologies that day I felt as though a huge weight was lifted off of my entire body. I felt relieved that things were finally over with and we could all move on with our lives. Up until that point I had been pretty much hating myself and who i had become, but after everything was said and done I was happy.

    I swear after all of the stress was relieved I felt so much better, was happier, and my body reacted to it. On April 18th my period was two days late and I was having nausea and abdominal pain, so I took a pregnancy test. I waited for about 5 minutes with the test not showing a positive or a negative so I left it on the bathroom counter and walked away. About 2 hours later I went back into the bathroom and to my surprise the test read positive. I immediately took a second test and was surprised by a second positive!

    This means that my first day of my last period had been March 20th, only a mere 6 days after all of my stress had been relieved! The stress and drama had been preventing me from getting pregnant and the minute that it was all resolved my body allowed me to get pregnant. My pregnancy is living proof that stress can cause infertility.

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On Mothers day this year we were happy to officially announce our pregnancy to the whole world and tomorrow I will be 9 weeks pregnant. I know I still have a while to go in this first trimester that I may miscarry but my husband and I were so excited that we couldn’t keep it a secret any longer. Plus honestly I am already starting to show at 8 weeks so people would start to notice. We are just hoping, praying, and doing everything we can to make sure that this baby stays put so that this Christmas we will have a little baby to call our own.


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