20 Dec How can a Christmas break affect your fertility?
The holiday season is one of the most awaited periods of the year for many of us. That is because we associate it with happiness, cheer, time spent with friends and family, and perhaps even presents! But at the same time, it can prove to be stressful in many regards. Not only have we accumulated stress and fatigue from working the entire year, but if we’re currently struggling with infertility, or if we’ve had an unsuccessful fertility treatment this year, this adds to it as well.
People around us may not necessarily know what we’re going through, so they might not understand why we’re not 100% in the mood to celebrate. That said, we need to set aside any expectations we might have had for this time of year and try to find peace in knowing that we’re already a few steps closer to our wish coming true. We should also recognize that there’s no point in imagining the worst-case scenario or assuming that it’s just not going to work for us because our mindset in this whole process is very important. Worrying would only produce more cortisol in our bodies, and we know that high cortisol levels have been shown to lower our likelihood of pregnancy in many ways. For instance, the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), both crucial for the normal functioning of our reproductive system, are affected, therefore, our oocyte quality can deteriorate, or we could ovulate later than usual, which is not ideal, even if we’re planning to undergo an assisted reproduction treatment. While it’s unlikely that stress alone can cause infertility, every time we get discouraged or overwhelmed with thoughts, we should remember to take a few big breaths and shake off any thoughts that do not serve us in any way.
Another, oftentimes overlooked, aspect of the holidays has to do with our diet. Most people tend to give themselves a free pass just because it’s Christmas and eat much more unhealthy food than usual, or they overeat because of the variety of food available. If we’re already struggling with our weight, overeating can exacerbate our hormonal imbalances, which can, in turn, affect our menstrual cycle. We’re not suggesting that you stick to salads only either, as any inadequate diet, whether it be a low-calorie one or another one with an excessive caloric intake, can disrupt our reproductive system. Alcohol consumption is also very prevalent throughout the entire holidays, as it’s customary to give toasts on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and perhaps even in between, whenever we’re reunited with friends or family.
But, once again, we have to remember that we should still pay close attention to how much alcohol we’re consuming, and not try to justify light or moderate drinking, just because it’s the holidays, or just because we’re not currently pregnant. Research has shown, on multiple occasions, that drinking any amount of alcohol can make it more difficult for us to conceive, and that also applies to the pregnancy and live birth rate of IVF with ICSI. All that is to say, just because we’re entering the holiday season, that doesn’t mean that we’re free from any responsibility: we should continue to take care of our mind and body. Yes, celebrating with family and friends is guaranteed to bring us joy, but let’s also make sure that this Christmas break does not affect our fertility by keeping in mind what we covered above.
All of us at Reproclinic would like to wish you Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, and since our biggest wish is to help our patients create their dream families, we invite you to go visit our website where you’ll discover our unique Christmas offers. This year, our gifts to you include services at no additional cost, and we’ve prepared something special for each one of you! So, whether you already know what fertility treatment you’re interested in, or you’re simply exploring different options, you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for, at Reproclinic! Hurry up… our offers expire on December 31st, 2023!