Stress is One of the Most Under Diagnosed Contributing Factors to Unexplained Infertility

This is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neurochemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle.

There is a delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary and reproductive glands.  Stress disrupts this balance and can prevent a woman from ovulating. Stress can also cause spasms in the fallopian tubes and the uterus, and alter sperm counts, motility, and cause impotence.

  • Chronic stress produces toxic chemicals.
  • Often individuals are unaware of being under stress, yet when tested their cortisol levels are elevated 200-300%.

    Long term exposure to cortosol: compromises immune response, changes body
    composition, causes depression and sleep impairment, increases risk of heath attack
    and other health problems, causes reproductive dysfunction and altered eating

  • Historically, chronic, low-grade stress was seen during famine.
  • Our hormonal response to stress is actually antagonistic to our fertility.

    Adrenaline is released by the adrenal glands during conditions of stress.  This inhibits
    our ability to utilize progesterone.

    In times of stress the pituitary gland emits higher levels of prolactin.  Prolactin also
    inhibits a woman’s fertility.

    When we’re under stress, the sympathetic nervous system can become
    hyperstimulated.  A hyperstimulated nervous system sends less blood to the uterus
    and ovaries, thereby impairing their optimal functioning.


Sources of Chronic Stress

  • Lack of sleep
  • Feeling powerless
  • Constantly depriving yourself
  • Trying to be perfect
  • Staying in no-win situations
  • Lack of enjoyable and rejuvenating activities


Acupuncture counters the effects of stress and cortisol by releasing endorphins in the brain, which exert a calming effect. Chinese Medicine also offers many other methods for relieving stress, such as, Qi gong exercises, meditation practices, deep breathing techniques, and massage.