The brain, the laboratory of fertility
Mar 19, 2022
The most recent statistics affirm that, in our society, one in six couples who decide to have a child cannot conceive. These are very high figures that can be directly related to our way of living.
In other words, although there are "physical" causes (such as obstruction of the fallopian tubes, hormonal changes or a low number of sperm), there are also causes that we could consider “social”: the age at which we start looking for pregnancy (we must consider that from the age of 35, the ovules begin to be of low quality), the inadequate nutrition (there are studies that indicate that poor nutrition generates a lower ovarian reserve in female offspring... and we have been worsening our diet for years) and, especially stress.
Stress directly affects a woman's fertility, affecting her menstrual cycle and causing inhibition of ovulation, and also directly affects male fertility, significantly reducing sperm production.
- Related article: "Types of stress and their triggers"
Stress, cause and consequence of infertility
On a physiological level, our body understands stress as a dangerous situation and naturally tends to protect itself.
secretes hormones such as adrenalin, to increase heart rate and blood pressure and to be able to provide sufficient energy to all parts of the body, and also secretes cortisol, some hormones that are responsible for suppressing all those functions that are not directly related to fleeing from the detected danger. And the function of conceiving is one of these “unnecessary” functions in times of stress.
Cortisol will increase the level of glucose in the bloodstream and the use of glucose by the brain will basically suspend the functions of digestion and reproduction.
We know: stress is the cause of many diseases in our society and can cause physical, emotional and psychological problems. And sustained stress over time, that is, chronic stress, is really dangerous in many ways.
If we analyze the relationship between stress and fertility we are going to enter a closed circle that is difficult to break. It's a fish biting its own tail: Chronic stress can cause infertility, and infertility can cause serious stress and emotional imbalance.
Several studies warn of the situation and show that a high proportion of women with fertility problems have anxiety, depression or both disorders. The statistics range from 40% to 80%, depending on the country, but in any case they are very high figures. Many women who decide to undergo assisted reproduction treatment already arrive at this decision in a state of depression and anxiety; In addition, their psychological situation tends to worsen during treatment and this, in turn, decreases the probability of its success.
The causes of these anxious pictures are found in the social pressure to have children, the feelings of frustration at not getting it when you want, feelings of fear and loss of control of the situation.
- You may be interested: "Perinatal psychology: what is it and what functions does it perform?"
Mindfulness to regulate emotions and live fertility from another place
Mindfulness (or we can also speak of mindfulness meditation) is a practice that is based on mindfully paying attention to present-moment experience with interest and acceptance.
It may not be easy, it requires practice and perseverance, and it is not from one day to the next... but when you have the power to choose a state mentally, when with conscious attention you can feel the "now" avoiding negative thoughts, you become a powerful agent of change. And so pregnancy is just a nice side effect of this commitment to healing.
Mindfulness-based techniques are already being used to help couples with fertility problems. And the results are very good: a reduction in stress is achieved and this reduces the number of treatment cycles necessary to achieve pregnancy.
Mindfulness helps us feel more connected with ourselves and more fertile in every way; helps to cope with an assisted reproduction process, the different cycles, the losses, the call “betawait”, which is the time in which results, decision making or tests are expected medical.
- Related article: "What is Mindfulness? The 7 answers to your questions
Motherhood begins when you decide to be a mother
This idea is key: motherhood begins at the moment we decide to be mothers, not when the pregnancy occurs. And it is vital to connect with this idea, both individually and, if applicable, as a couple.
A good accompaniment of a process of searching for a child based on mindfulness techniques will propose the following learning.
1. Learn to detect stressors and possible unconscious blocks
Recognizing the problem is the first step to solving it. That is always so. That is why it is very important know how to detect those events of the past that generated an impact on your life because they were not elaborated and healed.
A possible technique to detect these stressors is to make a lifeline. That is, spend some time ordering your life experiences in order to be able to detect possible charges. emotional that may be producing physical blockages that are affecting our ability to conception.
Put like that, it seems like a simple task. But how many people have never stopped to think about their life and have limited themselves to living it... and suffering it!
2. Learn to regulate emotions
Regulating emotions is nothing more than learning to manage them without letting yourself be dragged down by them. Again something easy to say but difficult to do.
Our mind is equivalent to thoughts: to know our mind, we have to be very aware of everything we think in each moment. But many times this is going to be impossible because the amount of thoughts that circulate through our heads at every moment is too overwhelming. The solution then will be analyze the results generated by our thoughts. Seeing these results it will be easier to free ourselves from thoughts that do not create harmony in us.
- You may be interested: "Emotional management: 10 keys to dominate your emotions"
3. Learn to be a fertile couple in every way
Our body is wise and naturally encourages us to have sex right at the time when it is most fertile. That is why we must learn to listen to it and look for the desired baby from the connection. From dedicating time, from prioritizing, pampering, having fun.
When a partner connects, oxytocin is released. And oxytocin stimulates the uterus, causing it to contract, which in turn will produce more oxytocin. And it is scientifically proven that a practice that can facilitate conception is the cervix orgasm. During this orgasm it is possible to feel the cervix open and close or suck as it contracts in orgasmic release.
Getting this connection is like putting water to boil: it needs its time to boil. That is to say: the couple must start from relaxation and provoke adequate stimulation.
4. Learn to heal the relationship with the family of origin
Our family system inevitably has a great influence on us. We all unconsciously repeat family patterns that, if we want to have children, may be hindering the process without us noticing.
Any unexpressed pain, any unprocessed mourning, everything that you cannot express in words is somatized or repeats a pattern. With mindfulness meditation techniques we will be able to distinguish the emotions that our ancestors felt in certain situations and will allow us to understand how we react to situations that we live.
5. Learn to self-manage your own fertility
The preconception stage is as or more important than the pregnancy itself. Preparing for motherhood requires time, self-care, introspection, and self-prioritization.
The woman must know her own body in detail and detect her fertile moments, deeply know her menstrual cycle. She must regain power over your body, observe what affects her and why, convince herself that she is the only one responsible for her body and her health.
6. Prioritize and self-care
You are the most important person in your life, Prioritize yourself and say no to everything that really does not add to your life.
A healthy diet promotes hormonal and reproductive health. For this reason, it is key to consume fresh, natural and whole foods; organic seasonal vegetables and fruit, avoid processed, etc. And this both women and men.
And not only that. Fertility is a state of the person and therefore it will be necessary to unite body and mind. We will achieve this by practicing “yoga for fertility”; that is, a type of yoga that focuses on the endocrine and reproductive system in order to improve fertility, while reinforcing the muscle areas related to conception and prepares women for pregnancy, you will find it in the Mindful Fertility Program of Mindfulwomen.
On "Mindful Fertility: Psycho-emotional Program for Fertility"You will find a set of practices based on consciousness, somatic psychology and neuroscience, a method to promote conscious fertility.