Conception 350 288 Sarah Rutherford

Stress in relation to fertility

Stress is a complex condition which can affect all parts of the body. There is evidence that it can affect fertility. Cortisol (a hormone released in response to stress) can cause the release of an inhibiting hormone that reduces the production of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone. Both of these hormones are integral to the release of the egg and the implantation of the embryo after fertilisation. So feeling stressed may be detrimental to the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.
G.M. Buck Louis, K.J. Lum, M.S. Rajeshwari Sundaram, Z. Chen, S. Kim, C.D. Lynch, E.F Schisterman, C. Pyper (2010) Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: evidence in support of relaxation. In Fertility and Sterility Vol 95
Stress is an issue for both sexes, so it’s equally important that both partners reduce their stress levels. Reflexology is a perfect antidote to stress and provides deep relaxation enabling the body to bring itself back into balance and restore homeostasis, providing optimal conditions for conception. When we suffer prolonged stress the many systems of the body, function at sub-optimal levels. The reproductive system is one of these that can be significantly affected.

Can you have reflexology while having medical treatments?

There is no evidence to suggest that reflexology interferes with medical treatments. In fact, reflexology can help support both partners during this very stressful time.
Please note it is important to understand that Reflexology does not offer a medical treatment, or act as a substitute for the medical treatment of infertility. A reflexologist does not diagnose or treat specific conditions and there is no guarantee that the end result will be pregnancy. Whatever the symptoms, it is essential to consult your GP/Consultant so that all tests can be carried out for both partners, and a diagnosis made regarding the cause of fertility problems.

How might reflexology support you?

Reflexology is a natural non- invasive and holistic therapy that is well established and respected in the field of complementary medicine. It is also now being increasingly used alongside treatments in conventional medicine. It is therefore, a perfect complementary therapy to support couples trying to conceive naturally, or indeed alongside conventional fertility treatments. Reflexology aims to balance and harmonise mind, body and spirit. Reflexology can help support both partners on an emotional and physical level, whether you have medical diagnosis or not.
Different pressure techniques are used to stimulate the nerve endings in the feet and sends signals along the nerve pathways to the central nervous system where they are processed and filtered to the corresponding part of the body or organ being worked on. It is believed that reflexology restores the free flow of ‘energy circulation’ within and around the body. This realigns mind body and spirit to a state of wellbeing and harmony. These positive effects all help to create optimal conditions for conception.