Does Stress Affect Fertility?

The short answer is ‘Yes’.

However, a more accurate answer is that stress affects some women’s capability to build a happy healthy family, and seems not to affect others.

Varicose veins aren't just for legs - Obstructed vessels and low sperm parameters

The male reproductive organs are dependent upon blood circulation to control temperature in the testicles and to bring nutrients for the production of sperm (spermatogenesis). For optimal sperm production and normal testis function, the testis require an environment that is approximately 2.5 degrees celcius cooler than normal body temperature.

Infertility and Psychology

"Stress evaluation that precedes or is concurrent to fertility treatment is suggested." This is the conclusion from the following paper published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

What You Need to Know About Male Infertility

As our cultural and medical understanding of sperm health and male fertility grows, our sperm quality and quantity declines. A study published last year ( found a hefty decline in sperm counts between 1973 and 2011, a 50-60% drop in this time; dramatic to say the least. Most disturbing is there are only theories and notions as to what is the actual cause of this steep decline. Sperm production is a complicated biochemical process and to assess the variables that are in play in it’s healthy production is difficult. Usually studies will look at one or two chemicals or variables to see how they affect sperm health. These types of studies will often show concrete correlations between phthalate exposure and sperm health (, or stress levels and lower testosterone ( However, to have a full picture of the situation is extremely difficult, and all we can do now is investigate trends and specific factors that may be contributing.

Art Therapy, Mental Health & Fertility

Your mental health has a great impact on the rest of your world and how you function. It is tied to your physical health, your relationships and your general happiness and well being! But why do so many of us ignore it, suffer, or try to 'tough' it out? Everyone is deserving of emotional care and support and finding what works best for you is a great first step. I recently came across this study about fertility, art therapy and mental health, for the full version don't hesitate to get in touch!

You Are Not Broken

Please take a moment to read these 2 paragraphs written by 2 famous female doctors who have dedcicated their lives to the treatment of women's health and fertility...

Self-Monitoring for Fertility

For most women I see there is a short period of awkwardness that arises when I first ask them about the size and color of their menstrual blood clots, or the consistency and characteristics of their bowel movements, but it never seems to take long for women to understand the importance of observing their body in all its capacities. Careful monitoring of ones own health has been a hallmark of traditional Chinese culture for thousands of years.

Rising Rates of Infertility Reversible

Infertility rates in Canada have been on a steady upward climb for the last many decades. I just wanted to share some statistics for the last 30 years, and some correlations that should not be overlooked. These correlations quite likely display some of the causes of the infertility trend, and they are either reversible or treatable.

One Woman's PCOS Journey

The following is a great example of typical PCOS case seen at Yinstill. If you think you may have PCOS or have been diagnosed with excess androgens, insulin resistance, irregular menstrual cycles, or cystic ovaries, I encourage you to read this story below, and to venture to youtube to listen to how other women have managed theri PCOS.

Fertility drugs need better monitoring

An article posted yesterday in the Vancouver Sun spoke about the drugs fertility doctors are giving their patients. The cause for concern may stem from younger and relatively healthy women moving to these drugs as a means of attaining a pregnancy faster.

Fertility Case Study: Yang Deficiency Cold

general info - Barb was 40 years old and had been trying to conceive for over 4 years without success. They got married when she was 35 and began the journey of making babies almost immediately after they were married.
history - Medical testing showed that her ovarian reserve was diminished and she was told that her egg quality was most likely poor. Semen analysis also showed low motility, morphology, and borderline low concentration.

Is Sitting on the Couch and Watching the Oscars Making Your Man Less Fertile?

In a recent study published last week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the sperm of athletic men were compared to that of men who are sedentary couch loving television watchers. We already know that an active lifestyle is beneficial for health and according to this study there is a distinct connection between exercise, which increases testosterone production, and increased sperm production. Additionally, the authors noted that sitting on the couch for prolonged periods of time may also be keeping the man's testicles at a temperature higher then optimum for sperm production.

Goal Setting for Fertility

“Change is never a matter of ability, it is only a matter of motivation and a compelling why.” ~ Tony Robbins

The goal of anyone experiencing infertility is to have a child. When times are trying, and you are adapting your life style in what might be challenging ways, that is the goal that needs to be kept in mind. Sometimes when you’ve been trying for a while, this ultimate goal can seem frustratingly unreachable so breaking it down into more manageable steps is key. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this chapter.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

Endometriosis is a common and sometimes debilitating condition experienced by many women of reproductive age. This disease causes chronic pelvic pain and may be a contributing factor causing infertility.

The signs and symptoms of endometriosis may differ from one woman to another but often include the following:

Fertility Case Study: Heat

general info - Melanie was a 31 year old lawyer trying to conceive for 1 year. Husband is 43 and travels a lot. Since coming off her IUD one year ago her cycles have been irregular in length.

Getting Pregnant...Again

Are you struggling to conceive this time around? Time and time again our Fit 4 Two alumni tell us how although they got pregnant quickly the first time, it just doesn’t seem to happen as easily the second time around.

Stress and Infertility – Coping with IVF treatment

Guest post by Susan Lockhart, PhD, MBA, BScN, Director Clinical Operations - Genesis Fertility Centre

Two weeks ago we discussed stress and infertility. Stress has never conclusively been shown to have a negative impact on the outcome of infertility treatment. However, everyone has experienced stress in their lives and can relate to its negative impact on quality of life. In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment undoubtedly adds to whatever stress one is already experiencing

PCOS Treatment - Step #1

First of all, I want to express my humble opinion that Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a very treatable condition if commitment to necessary lifestyle changes and recommended treatment is sustained over a reasonable period of time. This should be empowering and aid in cultivating hope that you can restore health and achieve pregnancy.

Is there a link between Alcohol and Infertility?

For decades the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy have been well understood, with consumption of heavy amounts during pregnancy being linked to fetal alcohol syndrome, miscarriage, premature delivery and also low birth weights. But, the question still remains: Does drinking alcohol before conception play a major role in preventing pregnancy all together? Even if you are not quite ready to start a family of your own, you may wish to examine your drinking habits and the effects they can have on your chances of conception.

How to optimize for IVF success

I was asked by a woman for a list of tips and things she could do herself to best optimize for IVF success. The following is my ever growing list. Simply choose a few of the items below and commit to being consistent with their implementation. Your plan must be sustainable and in no way shape or form ADD stress to your life, that would be extremely counter productive. Many of the resources below are further explained by clicking on them or visiting here

Acupuncture for IVF in Vancouver

Women and couples come to me at various stages of their journey to conception. Sometimes they have been trying for years and others they are just starting out. While conceiving naturally is everyone’s first choice, alternatives that garner the same results; a baby, should not be overlooked. It is for this reason that I have written this blog.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a term used to describe the current western medical treatments available for women and couples having difficulty conceiving and desiring or requiring medical aid such as In Vitro Fertilization.

Conceiving naturally after IVF

One in three women who have their first baby through infertility treatment, become pregnant again naturally within two years of their first birth, a new study from Australia & New Zealand has found.

A Monash University study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the first to examine the rates of unexpected conception in Australian women who had a first child through assisted reproductive technology (i.e. IVF).

Nutrition to Support Conception and Pregnancy

Guest post by Sharon Pendlington, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

When I became pregnant with my first child, 12 years ago, I knew very little about nutrition. I really believed that I was ‘eating for two’ and that I had an excuse to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It wasn’t until almost a decade later that I understood that what I ate while pregnant affected the health of my child.

Massage for Fertility

Tops three things to consider in how massage can benefit fertility.

1. A harmonious sonata happens between your nerves and hormones as you relax into your massage. A gentle shift in stimulation of the nervous system from 'fight or flight' to 'rest and digest' can change the function that nurtures the activities of hormones that play a big role in fertility success.

"I am 1 in 6" Infertility Awareness Week 2015: May 19th - 28th

Next week kicks off infertility awareness week. It will be the third year that Yinstill has been a part of this great cause. This year’s national campaign is entitled: “I am 1 in 6” The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) has launched this campaign for this year to really highlight just how many couples struggle with fertility challenges. The goal of the campaign is to empower more people to speak out about their fertility challenges and the experiences they have endured during their journey.

Avoid these things to Optimize fertility...

There are many toxins in our environment that are known to disrupt hormonal balance and are contributing factors in conditions such as infertility, PMS, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, recurrent pregnancy loss, and anxiety.

Sally's Fertility Story...

“After two years of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby, I knew something was wrong. My periods had always been very irregular and I was frustrated because my family doctor would not refer me to a fertility specialist until we’d been trying for at least two years.

Medical Testing and Self-Monitoring

It is important to understand when it is time to ask your doctor to begin to run basic testing, at the very least to rule out the obvious like ensuring the Fallopian tubes are clear via HSG (hystero - uterus, salpingo - tubes, gram - image), and whether there is any sperm being ejaculated. Once these two tests are done, at least you can take a breath and move forward knowing that sperm is present and that it can get to the egg. A Chinese medicine treatment plan, when committed for enough time, can make many changes in your life, overall health, and fertility potential.

What you NEED to know about your thyroid

There is a huge problem in health care today. People are living with thyroid problems that are either being misdiagnosed, mistreated, or completely missed by their physicians. If you have any of the following symptoms, please read on to find out why your thyroid may be involved and what you need to do to get better.

Advanced Maternal Age and Fertility

A big piece here is to understand how to guide intention. As the body ages it gives less and less resources to the function of reproduction. This happens as a result of the body’s decrease in overall resources and the growing need of other more life sustaining systems. Thus, a decline in the health of the reproductive organs (eggs included) when a woman is over the age of 35.

These simple facts direct our goals for treatment in traditional Chinese medicine;

Medication and Male Fertility

There are numerous situations, habits, or conditions that can affect different factors of male fertility - including sperm count, sperm shape, sperm movement, libido, or erectile function. Some of the more common things to avoid are heat around the groin area, excess alcohol or recreational drug use, stress or anxiety, too much or too little exercise, and poor sleep quality.

Reclaiming Fertility

fertility vancouver

More and more women today are seeking fertility assistance. Stats Canada noted a decline in women having children in their 20’s and an increase in women conceiving in their 30’s. Overall, up to 15% of Canadian women from 18-44 years of age are having difficulty conceiving (a twofold increase from 1992).

Fertility declines in the woman’s 30’s and progressively becomes more difficult after age 35. Physiological reasons for lowered fertility rates include:

Doctor Said My Swimmers Are Bad, Now What?

The facts

Male infertility affects 10% to 15% of reproductive aged couples worldwide. Since male infertility is such a common problem, it is important to understand the true role it plays in male health and relationships. Men diagnosed with infertility suffer intense negative sexual, personal, and social strains that might be considered typical for other medical illnesses such as cancer or heart disease.

10 Steps to Optimize Your Fertility

10 steps to improve both your natural fertility potential and/or chances of success with modern medical assisted reproductive treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

How to Improve a Thin Uterine Lining to Increase Fertility

thin uterine lining infertility ivf

By: Dr. Spence Pentland. One of the major causes of infertility and IVF failure is a thin uterine lining, inadequate blood flow to the uterus. Treatment to increase blood flow is essential to improving fertility and reducing chances of miscarriage. It should be noted that stress, lack of exercise, not enough rest, lack of joy, and certain foods all can inhibit blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. The following are effective treatments for a thin endometrial lining...

Cervical Fluid Is a Key Fertility Sign - Dr. Spence Pentland

cervical fluid infertility

Are you or a friend having difficulty conceiving? Starting to wonder if something may be wrong? Do not want to go to the doctor 'just yet', or have already taken some of those first medical steps? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, the information in this article will prove to be a useful quick glance into understanding one of the female body's key signs of fertility.

Endocrine-Hormone Disrupting Chemicals and Reproductive Health - Dr. Spence Pentland

endocrine disruptors toxins infertility

A large number of widely used substances (pesticides, common household items and chemicals, industrial chemicals, metals) have been shown to have estrogen-mimicking and other endocrine-hormone disrupting effects, including;

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