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Relax and don't think about it

(22 Posts)
winkle2 Sat 29-Sep-12 09:50:54

Can someone explain to me why this method of getting pregnant works? I hear it so many times but no-one explains why? How does being stressed prevent conception?

Ratata Sat 29-Sep-12 12:26:42

I don't know any scientific answers but the 2 times I have conceived (lost both though) were the times we stopped trying properly and the time we were completely wasted. The months we have planned it out, me remembering to lay down for a while after and all that are the times I haven't got pregnant. That's just me though. I notice I feel more relaxed and more turned on when not thinking about sex to get pregnant specifically. And I guess the more turned on you are, the wetter you are (sorry TMI) and that helps the sperm survive or get further or something?

I understand that relaxing and not thinking about it doesn't work for everyone though. But I too hear of so many people going on holiday and getting pregnant or stopping trying properly and getting pregnant.

winkle2 Sat 29-Sep-12 13:19:06

I went on holiday last month, was completely relaxed and it didn't work for me... And that was month 13 of trying.

Dovetale Sat 29-Sep-12 13:35:11

I was totally stressed and focused on getting pregnant when it happened so I don't believe the just relax theory. I scoured the internet trying to find out what the link between stress and conception was incase that was stopping it happening. There were two things I found. One was that if you are really stressed it can change when you ovulate but if you are tracking ovulation that is not a problem. The other was that stress reduces your sex drive so you don't have enough sex to get pregnant. Obviously if you can relax then trying is more fun but I don't think it's essential.

Pipbin Sat 29-Sep-12 14:05:44

Its just said by people to make we want to hit them. Thats the only reason I can think that someone would give such unhelpful advice.

Ratata Sat 29-Sep-12 14:40:05

I don't think it should be given as 'advice'. Only as a statement when it has worked for someone. It seems to have worked for a lot of people but what works for them doesn't work for everyone because everyone is different. Apparently it works for me. But at the moment pregnancy is all I think about because the losses are getting to me badly. Which sucks. If I could relax and not think about it again I bet it would work.

ScarlettInSpace Sat 29-Sep-12 16:31:05

2 different consultants have told me the same thing about this, which is that your tubes and some of the womb tissue are made from the same type of muscle tissue as your intestines and they behave in the same way; so when you are stressed and you feel your insides go 'tight' and tense up, that's happening to part of your reproductive system as well, hence when you are stressed it is harder to conceive as tensed up tubes etc is not conducive to all the other factors falling into place as well!

I'm no medic but this certainly makes sense to me...

Pipbin Sat 29-Sep-12 17:46:26

That is a good point Scarlett. When i had my HSG it showed that one of my tubes was closed as it was contracting due to the discomfort of the procedure.

winkle2 Sat 29-Sep-12 20:06:42

I def think I'm more relaxed about it then I was. It's been a year so I don't have hope every month anymore I just think it will happen, I just don't know when.

endoflevelbaddy Sat 29-Sep-12 20:22:41

If I remember rightly stress hormones can interfere with reproductive hormones, evolutionary throwback to stop us getting knocked up when we were short of food / being hunted by dinosaurs. Or something like that.

Pipbin Sat 29-Sep-12 20:32:17

I love that. I'd hate to be knocked up while being hunted by dinosaurs!

(Yes I am aware that the dinosaurs died out millions of years before humans evolved).

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sat 29-Sep-12 20:35:53

I used to get completely fed up with this stupid, insensitive advice when we were having fertility problems. Relaxing didn't help my husband's sperm quality a tiny bit...

JethroTull Sat 29-Sep-12 21:07:42

I agree with Sunny. If stress was a factor then people in war torn, famine ridden & other such places would not be reproducing.

Relax & it will happen. Nothing makes me more tense than hearing that!

HaveALittleFaith Sat 29-Sep-12 22:47:43

It's crap! sort of it's the notion that stress can stop you ovulating and so when you relax, you ovulate and it happens hmm

Technically that's what happened to us. We agreed to stop TTC while I got my BMI under 30 so we could be referred for IVF. I lost about half a stone and lo and behold, BFP. But the fully story is we had male factor infertility which had been treated for 8 months. We still timed the sex in a er I think it's about the right time, are you up for it? I do think we were more relaxed because we were on holiday (although camping so not that relaxing!), because I was eating well but predominantly because we had the fertility problem treated! We had a holiday the year before. Properly relaxed, got tanned, had plenty of sex, still didn't get me pregnant! (That was month 13 incidentally).

80% of couples conceive within 1 year, 90% within 18 months. Therefore half of couples who go to their GP to start investigations after a year will conceive within the next six months. However it's best to get the ball rolling - have you seen your GP winkle?

winkle2 Sat 29-Sep-12 22:52:37

Have - had bloods and pelvic scan and all clear. Hubs had sperm analysis and docs say he has 1% morphology but everything else is above average so shouldn't affect conception. Just don't know why it's not happening.

Hooya Sun 30-Sep-12 01:20:32

As far as I can tell most advice says there is no medical difference "just relaxing" can make. Though I have no doubt that for some couples, just relaxing may mean more sex / more sex where both of them orgasm, which it is thought might have a positive impact on the ability of the sperm to get to their destination (I think it's still debated though). In that sense it could increase a couple's chances but if and only if they were so stressed they weren't having enough sex before. That is simply not the case for the many long-term TTCers who are doing everything they can to conceive.

I really think that advice is from doctors who are perhaps (with the best of intentions) trying to think holistically about their patients' wellbeing, but without really having a clue how their patients are feeling. Finally, as someone who has suffered from anxiety (albeit not TTC related), telling people to just relax if they are at the point of needing to be told to is likely to be ineffective, unless they are given the tools to get out of it.

Pipbin Sun 30-Sep-12 15:45:21

And of course the opposite of 'relax and it will happen' is the recently quoted 'women can't get pregnant through rape as their bodies won't let them'.

MissFenella Sun 30-Sep-12 16:00:52

I TTC for 10 years unsuccessfully. It got to the point where I was ready to kill the next person who told me 'relax, just stop thinking about it'.

The only stressful part of TTC was the well meaning advice grin

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sun 30-Sep-12 16:39:03

Ha, I agree MissFenella. We've stopped TTC because of the stress, and the daft advice.

FrankelSaysRelax Sun 30-Sep-12 16:41:13

Agree that it is bollocks. If someone could tell me exactly how I'm supposed to relax when I've been TTC for 2.5 years, have PCOS and about to start some pretty heavy duty fertility treatment, that would be great thanks hmm

No end of "relaxing" is going to spontaneously cure my PCOS so, to use the MN colloquialism they can all f*ck the f*ck off, to the far side of f*ck. And when they get there: f*ck off some more!

JethroTull Sun 30-Sep-12 21:08:31

Spoken like a true BESH Frankle grin

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sun 30-Sep-12 21:09:56

grin Frankle

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