August 13th, 2010
02:34 PM ET

Why stress, depression hurt fertility

I just saw a report from Dr. Sanjay Gupta about a new study showing that women with increased stress hormones are less likely than others to get pregnant. This made me think of other recent findings on how brain chemistry can affect your ability to conceive a child.

Basically, any changes related to increased activity of the body’s stress system make it harder to become pregnant. This makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary point of view. For most animals, and for humans until recently, stress meant that you were in danger of death. In these circumstances it makes a lot of sense for the body to adjust itself to focus its energy on survival rather than reproducing. Plus, why would one want to bring a child into the world in circumstances so dangerous that it is unlikely to survive?

The problem in the modern world is that these same old stress systems get activated by all sorts of daily hassles that no longer threaten death and destruction. So it no longer makes sense for stress to suppress fertility, but tell that to our stress systems that still behave as if we are back in the Stone Age.

The recent study on stress and infertility also helps explain why so many studies have found that people with major depression are less fertile than others. If you look at stress hormones in most people who are depressed, these hormones are increased. One way of thinking about depression is that it is a state in which stress system activity is jammed into permanent hyperdrive.

The practical take home from all this is that if you are having trouble getting pregnant, one of the most important things you can do is work on ways to relax. The hardest part is trying to relax about getting pregnant, which is much easier said than done. And if you are depressed one of the best things you can do is to get treatment. Of course, this is true even if you are not trying to get pregnant!

Dr. Charles Raison,  CNNHealth's mental health expert, is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He answers viewer questions on Tuesdays at CNNHealth.com. Submit your  questions here.

« Previous entry
soundoff (711 Responses)
  1. Carmelo Baldos

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery (Click on the link in the profile for more details)


    January 26, 2021 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Graig Viniegra

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers


    January 27, 2021 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Kaley Gerbi

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers


    January 27, 2021 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 35000-Visitors For-Free

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from 850 sources of traffic (Approximately 35000 views a day guaranteed). Then just wait and earn your income 100 on autopilot. More info: https://www.k3reviews.com/2020/08/16/monster-mode-700k/


    January 30, 2021 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Cherie Basler

    Earn 10000 a Month With Our Passive Income System – Best Autopilot income system 2021


    February 6, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. High-Do-Follow Forum-Backlinks

    Create a profitable digital marketing strategy and plan: https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan


    February 16, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. SocialMedia Services2021

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/services


    February 19, 2021 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ClarkTauts

    sx4um u4y4k 2fzg

    March 1, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Gustavo Narimatsu

    Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on. Any tips?


    March 2, 2021 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Wayne Taneja


    March 4, 2021 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. nearby realtors


    April 24, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Remodeling Near Me

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    April 24, 2021 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Forklift Repair Los Angeles

    This site certainly has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    April 24, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Renovation Orange County

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    April 24, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. real estate for sale sandpoint idaho


    April 24, 2021 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Forklift Rental Los Angeles


    April 25, 2021 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Supplies Riverside

    bookmarked!!, I like your web site!


    April 25, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. orange skye body and beauty bar

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject. I like all the points you made.


    April 25, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Mechanics Orange County


    April 25, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. homes for sale coeur d' alene lake


    April 27, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. houses for sale hauser idaho


    April 27, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Eye Exam Near Me

    I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    May 4, 2021 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. truck & trailer repair


    May 4, 2021 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Parts California

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thank you!


    May 5, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. aika online


    May 5, 2021 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. goal coach near me

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to send this information to him. Fairly certain he'll have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!


    May 5, 2021 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. truck lube service near me


    May 5, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. online lifestyle coach


    May 5, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. gmc savana 3500 cargo van

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I stumbled across this during my search for something concerning this.


    May 5, 2021 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Seats Near Me

    Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 5, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Eye Exam Near Me


    May 5, 2021 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. unemployment office near me


    May 5, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. success coach near me

    Right here is the right web site for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that's been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just great!


    May 5, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. kenworth truck repair

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't fail me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I genuinely thought you'd have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    May 6, 2021 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. online accountability coach


    May 6, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. isuzu box truck conversion

    I like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    May 6, 2021 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. mercedes benz sprinter cargo van


    May 6, 2021 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. waterfalls near me

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this information.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. rv repair services near me

    This excellent website definitely has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Kegs Of Beer Near Me


    May 6, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Forklift For Sale Orange County


    May 6, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Forklifts


    May 7, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. gun shows near me

    Right here is the right site for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just excellent!


    May 7, 2021 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Forklift Maintenance Los Angeles


    May 7, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Forklift Repair

    I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    May 7, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. windshield replacement lake forest


    May 7, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Forklift Service Shop Orange County

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It is the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    May 7, 2021 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. neurologist near me

    Saved as a favorite, I love your web site!


    May 7, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Forklift Service Los Angeles


    May 7, 2021 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. rv dealers orange county ca

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the website is also very good.


    May 7, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.