The relationship between stress and infertility may be one of both cause (stress is the cause of infertility) and effect (infertility is the cause of stress). Stress, an intense psychological tension, can have a very negative effect on the human body.

Prolonged, acute stress disrupts a woman's hormonal balance. When we experience stress, the pituitary gland produces an increased amount of prolactin, which may lead to abnomalies in the menstrual cycle (irregular cycles, lack of menstruation, or lack of ovulation.) Stress may also delay the occurrence of ovulation in a cycle. It can disrupt or block the production of cervical mucus, or inversely, cause more than one instance of fertile mucus release during a cycle, at the moment when the body is preparing itself for ovulation, which becomes delayed because of stress. In such a situation continue to have intercourse until OvuFriend marks ovulation on your chart (an increase of temperature will confirm the occurrence of ovulation. Without keeping an ovulation calendar, the estimation of fertile days based only on observation of fertile mucus or on ovulation tests may turn out to be unreliable (Why are ovulation tests sometimes unreliable?). This may cause you to plan intercourse on the wrong dates, resulting in more failed attempts to become pregnant, and further intensifying your stress.

The good news is that research shows that classic, simple stress reduction techniques (breathing exercises, yoga, psychological therapy) are often very efficient in restoring the body's hormonal balance, getting menstrual cycles back to normal, and facilitating conception. (Stress while trying to have a baby. How to fight it?)