Stress, Fertility, and Hormones: Does Stress Impact Your Fertility?

Fertility doctor, Natalie Crawford, MD talks about stress, hormones, and fertility. Learn how your hormones are all connected and how stress can impact ovulation, fertilization, implantation, pregnancy rates and more. How can you decrease stress? Does stress impact your fertility?

Your body is made to respond to stress.
Stress is a normal part of life.
Stressors can be both good and bad.
And you are supposed to be able to respond to this stress.
That’s how your body is made.

People can have stress for *so many* reasons – and each of us respond differently to different situations – this is what makes stress so unique to us all (and thus, hard to study and understand).

But when you are constantly stressed, with high cortisol – this changes your brain. This changes the release of reproductive hormones. This impacts fertilization and implantation.
Stress matters.

Understanding how your hormones work and what can happen with constant or chronic stress – allows you to start to reevaluate your life.
What changes can you make?
How can you realistically reduce stress?
How important is stress in your life?

Listen to learn more about your body and then reflect on these questions:
1. What boundaries can you set?
2. How can you utilize your time better?
3. What stress reduction techniques can you begin to incorporate?
4. How can you sleep better

Reviewed in this episodes:
Understand your hormones.
How are hormones impacted by stress?
Does stress impact reproduction?
Does stress impact fertility?
Does stress matter when you do IVF?
How can you decrease stress?

#fertility #infertility #nataliecrawfordmd


Fritz and Speroff, Clinical Gynecology Endocrinology and Infertility, 8th edition, 2011

Wesselink AK, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, et al. Perceived Stress and Fecundability: A Preconception Cohort Study of North American Couples. Am J Epidemiol. 2018;187(12):2662-2671. doi:10.1093/aje/kwy186

Palomba S, Daolio J, Romeo S, Battaglia FA, Marci R, La Sala GB. Lifestyle and fertility: the influence of stress and quality of life on female fertility. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018;16(1):113. Published 2018 Dec 2. doi:10.1186/s12958-018-0434-y

Zhai QY, Wang JJ, Tian Y, Liu X, Song Z. Review of psychological stress on oocyte and early embryonic development in female mice. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2020;18(1):101. Published 2020 Oct 13. doi:10.1186/s12958-020-00657-1

Klonoff-Cohen H, Chu E, Natarajan L, Sieber W. A prospective study of stress among women undergoing in vitro fertilization or gamete intrafallopian transfer. Fertil Steril. 2001 Oct;76(4):675-87. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(01)02008-8. PMID: 11591398

Zhang SY, Wang JZ, Li JJ, Wei DL, Sui HS, Zhang ZH, Zhou P, Tan JH. Maternal restraint stress diminishes the developmental potential of oocytes. Biol Reprod. 2011 Apr;84(4):672-81. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.110.087890. Epub 2010 Dec 1. PMID: 21123817.

Zhou P, Lian HY, Cui W, Wei DL, Li Q, Liu YX, Liu XY, Tan JH. Maternal-restraint stress increases oocyte aneuploidy by impairing metaphase I spindle assembly and reducing spindle assembly checkpoint proteins in mice. Biol Reprod. 2012 Mar 22;86(3):83. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.111.095281. PMID: 22133696
Fertility doctor, Natalie Crawford, MD is a double board certified OBGYN and REI, and co-founder of Fora Fertility, a boutique fertility practice in Austin, Texas.


715 W 34th Street, Austin, TX 78705
To become a patient: email or call 512-956-5006

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Sharing fertility facts to educate women about trying to conceive, getting pregnant, ovulation, fertility treatments, IUI, IVF, becoming a doctor, life as a woman in medicine, and more.