The connection between PCOS and fertility issues is only inflamed by stress. Stress is currently one of the most widely discussed health topics, and rightfully so, since it impacts so many facets of our well being. Comparing the role and daily life of a mother in 2013 to that of 30 years ago is vastly different. We live in a hectic world where we are always on the move, tuned in to our cell phones 24/7, and often struggle to separate work from home life. Sleep and relaxation is just not the same anymore.
Often when we are sleep deprived we tend to become stressed which is not healthy for any human being, especially women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Women with PCOS are already struggling with the battle of imbalanced hormones; stress can only make this worse, while also interfering with the hopeful progress you have made through diet and exercise.
While studies have not proven a direct link between stress and its negative impact on fertility, there is concern that stress interferes with hormone levels that can negatively impact women with PCOS.
Why Should Women with PCOS Decrease their Stress?
It is extremely important for women with PCOS to try and reduce as much stress from their life as possible as it both creates and perpetuates an imbalance in your hormones. It is important to first make mention that cortisol is the primary stress hormone and plays a significant role in relating stress and PCOS. Below are a few key reasons why women with PCOS should watch their stress levels.
Women suffering from PCOS have low progesterone. High levels of stress actually wind up taking away from the already low levels of this hormone.
- Statistically, women with PCOS have higher rates of anxiety, depression and other emotional disorders that are aggravated by stress.
- Women with PCOS produce more cortisol than women without. Due to women with PCOS already making more cortisol, stress is actually more aggravating as it is being added to already elevated levels.
- Stress makes your hormones become less effective. Women with raised cortisol levels are unable to effectively use estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones.
Now that we have a better idea as to why raised stress levels can negatively impact women with PCOS, what can you do about it? Here are a few tips:
Try to stay away from processed foods, rather eat whole natural foods with good sources of protein and fiber.
- Eat breakfast no later than 10am
- Have a high quality salt intake
- Decrease or eliminate your coffee intake
- Add a relaxation activity such as yoga or meditation to your daily routine
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS and fertility is an issue for you, contact Brown Fertility to schedule a consultation at 904.260.0352.