FSH, AMH, and antral follicle count are all strongly impacted by stress
So a woman who is experiencing high levels of stress may not get an ACCURATE reading on her fertility situation based on these hormone levels
You may consider stress to be the outcome of what is going on in your immediate environment, such as:
your job, paying bills, upkeep with the house, getting to the gym, arguments with your spouse, exposure to environmental toxins, inflammatory diet, alcohol, excess caffeine, etc
But you probably overlook the underlying issues that are, what I consider, the SILENT stressors, such as:
perfectionism, people pleasing, never feeling good enough, past abortions or miscarriages, fear of failure, fear of loss, narcissitic / alcoholic parent, feeling victimized
These deep-seated issues often rear their heads during times of fertility challenges – whether you are conscious of them or not
We’ve all heard the cliche: “the issues are in your tissues,” meaning that our bodies are a REFLECTION of our emotions
So if a woman finds herself brimming with fear, anxiety & overwhelm after months of trying to conceive naturally without success…
PLUS she’s dealing with the normal stress load of a modern woman…
Then it’s NO WONDER she’s getting the “your eggs are too old” diagnosis
How Stress Directly Affects Fertility
Stress directly decreases blood flow to the uterus, decreases follicle production & quality, lowers estrogen, weakens the adrenal glands leading to low progesterone, interferes with the pituitary’s production of FSH, and lowers levels of AMH.
Notice a common theme? Stress directly disrupts the hormones of fertility
“Harder, better, faster, stronger” is the type of mindset that will limit your ability to both conceive naturally AND succeed with fertility treatments.
What about AMH and antral follicle count?
AMH stands for anti-mulleurian hormone and is a hormone secreted by ‘good quality’ follicles and tends to decrease with age.
An antral follicle count is done via ultrasound where your doctor will look at your ovaries and see how many ‘antral’ follicles are growing
These numbers actually have NOTHING to do with your ability to get pregnant…
Doctors, however use these tests to communicate with you about the ‘severity’ of your inability to gt pregnant. They often use phrases such as :Your FSH is too high, AMH is low and your only hope is to go forth with IVF and donor eggs…your time is running out and we need to act fast…”
Wow, what a great business model: create distrust in your body’s ability to get pregnant on its own and then build an insane amount of urgency to ‘fix it’. Of course you’re going to sign up for the next available IVF consultation! I don’t blame you one bit!
When in fact, these numbers change ALL THE TIME. They change with hormones, stress, blood flow, inflammation, etc. And don’t actually tell us HOW MANY EGGS WE HAVE LEFT (aka how much ‘time’ we have left’).
They don’t actually matter that much at all! I promise you!
What I am more concerned about is the QUALITY of your eggs, not just how much you have left. And we know that the quality of our eggs can be improved based on our diet, lifestyle, exposure to environmental toxins, stress management, mental – emotional healing, etc.
Your Next Steps
IF YOU HAVE BEEN TTC FOR 6 MONTHS TO A YEAR & thinking of getting hormones tested soon, do this FIRST to decrease stress, connect to your fertile body & to ensure an ACCURATE depiction of your fertility hormones:
1. Lower feelings of stress /anxiety / overwhelm by incorporating journaling, meditation & hypnotherapy to help process those limiting subconscious beliefs
2. Seek out an acupuncturist who can also prescribe herbs to ensure your reproductive system is energetically balanced
3. Utilize mind body techniques like yoga, meditation & visualization to harmonize your mind with your body
Curious on more ways to increase your body’s ability to conceive naturally? Reply MORE below & I’ll send you a FREE pdf, My treat!