According to reproductive therapy specialists, as well as physicians of a wide variety of disciplines, infertility can be multifactorial. Although stress has not been proven to be a singular causative factor resulting in infertility, the treatment of stress has been correlated with increased pregnancy rates. Improving not just physical health through nutrition, exercise and rest, but also mental health through stress management and support systems are vital elements in improving your chances of getting pregnant.It is no surprise that women who have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as cancer, chronic pain, or are terminally ill also suffer from anxiety and depression. What may be surprising, however, is that women who are infertile have levels of stress that are just as severe. Strategies for reducing stress may include psychotherapy, medications, and counseling, but a more immediate effect may be achieved with something as simple as laughter.
Laughter is powerful; it is effective at reducing pain, conflict, and tension. It has an immediate positive effect on mood, which in turn helps keep a positive perspective despite hardship and stress. Good humor can relieve physical tension and decrease stress hormones such as cortisol, a hormone that is unfavorable to pregnancy and conception. It can also trigger endorphin release, which also happens during exercise or other pleasurable physical activities. Laughter can also boost the immune system by increasing antibody levels and stimulating the production of white blood cells to combat infection. It improves circulation and blood flow, thereby protecting the heart and mitigating heart disease.
There exists strong anecdotal evidence for the effectiveness of laughter. An infertility clinic in Zerifin, Israel, released details of a study of over 200 women undergoing in-vitro fertilization. Half of the women were visited at bedside by a comedian who told jokes and performed magic tricks for 15 minutes shortly after embryo transfer, while the other half was not. Results showed that the pregnancy rate of those visited was 1.8 times higher than those who were not, i.e. 36.4% versus 20.2%. Although more studies need to be conducted in order to prove a causative relationship between laughter and fertility, a study such as this one is a step in the right direction.
When trying to conceive, women must maintain a positive state of mind, despite perceived failure, inadequacies and hardship. A good sense of humor in the face of fear, disappointment, and stress can help balance your mood and lead to a successful pregnancy.