Dr. Akinde Joseph, a Consultant Gynaecologist, has identified stress as one of the leading causes of infertility in both males and females.
The Chairman, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Lagos chapter, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
He explained that stress destroys the body without the individual knowing it, causing the body to pump out cortisol almost constantly.
Joseph added that it was also responsible for some ailments like cancers and cardiovascular diseases, among others.
The expert said in stressful situations, cortisol, like adrenaline, pushes metabolism into high gear while sustained high levels could raise blood pressure, cause weight gain, or lead to other health problems.
“Elevated cortisol relating to prolonged stress results in the disruption of the normal ovulation and menstrual cycle of a woman, which brings about infertility. If eggs are not produced, the semen has nothing to fertilise. In the male folks, elevated cortisol due to stress can cause erectile dysfunction,” he said.
The gynaecologist noted that cortisol was a steroid hormone, which is normally released in response to events and circumstances in acute stress.
“Androgenic sex hormones are produced in the same glands that produce the cortisol; so, excess cortisol production may hamper optimal production of the sex hormones”, Joseph said.
The doctor advised people to ensure that they reduce the stress in their lives, saying “it will not only help your fertility and health but also the quality of your life”.
“Everyone gets stressed once in a while. If your stress goes on for a long time or if you are dealing with a major upheaval like unemployment or a death in the family, it might affect your fertility. Your ability to manage, control and react positively to stressors is very necessary,” he explained.