We all know that stress is an emotional factor but could it impact a physiological system?
Yes, there is an established mind body connection. When we are happy the emotion factor for happiness is realized in the body with dopamine and serotonin. Same way when we are stressed in our routine and when it exceeds a certain level, the stress hormones are released to cope up the need.
Research studies indicates that there is biological basis where stress reduces the chances of a woman in becoming pregnant. The hormones that are considered as female hormones are oestrogen and progesterone.
The characteristic of a female hormone is in the role it plays in a woman towards fertility. Stress hormones like cortisol and reproductive hormones testosterone, and DHEA are produced from the adrenal glands. These steroids form an interchangeable pool of hormones, which are converted to one of the either forms to circulate in the system.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone that functions as a precursor to male and female sex hormones, including testosterone and oestrogen. Precursors are substances that are converted by the body into a hormone.
Stress causing hormone imbalance
Stress hormones, such as cortisol, interfere with the secretion, action and function of the two hormones - oestrogen and progesterone.
When the physical body is relaxed, the body allocates its steroid hormones to produce DHEA and progesterone. These hormones promote long lasting immune balance, cancer prevention, and reproduction.
When conditions are stressful, the body allocates the same steroid building blocks to cortisol.
Cortisol is the “fight or flight" hormone which circulates shortly. Due to everyday stress many youngsters are in the fight or flight state.
Regular periods require a surge of female hormones in the right place and the right time. If stress is high, then oestrogen and progesterone cannot be secreted at the right time. They are depleted because the body needs cortisol instead. This results in irregular periods. Cortisol affects periods in many other ways too. Excess cortisol suppresses thyroid hormone, which in turn, causes menstrual cycle irregularity and makes the body resistant to insulin. This in turn causes failure in ovulation.
Thus Stress affects our reproductive system leading to delayed pregnancy.
Karthika loves when people's biochemistry shifts with a shift in their mind!