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Stress and TTC - how much stress does it take to impact a cycle.

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SadieLady Posted: 06-30-2011 7:37 PM

This is my first time charting and I started partway through my cycle. I've been pregnant once before so I know that I can conceive (though secondary infertility isn't exactly out of the question). My cycles has always been a tad bit short and not very consistent. It always comes eventually, but if I'm living with other women my period tends to follow theirs and if I'm traveling it just doesn't show up etc. So I'm a little bit worried that I haven't been ovulating for a few months because things have been very stressful. My father in law just passed away after a long battle with cancer (just before my last period, which came late), and then about 3 weeks ago, we had to put down my childhood dog (and constant companion), Sox. Basically, it's been a tough month. 

I'm trying to talk myself into being reasonable, but my chart is really strange, like no cervical fluid (this isn't normal for me, that much I know) and my thermal shift may or may not be happening (2 days above the coverline then a drop down to the coverline). Is it normal to have either a later thermal shift or none at all after a month like this? logically, I get that it's unlikely for me to have a normal cycle right now, but I'm having a hard time not obsessing about this.Then I think that women get pregnant in war times and after traumatic experiences so maybe it's not stress?

Has anyone else charted through tough times and found that they were really off?

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lbm436 replied on 07-02-2011 10:24 AM

Oh, I am SO sorry about everything you've been going through Hug

I'm not sure if there is a level of stress that is measurable to impact a cycle, but I would say what you're going through would probably be enough to do it. Things as small as traveling or having company stay with you is enough to delay ovulation, so events like these would definitely cause it.

Looking at your chart (, try setting your chart to temps only (cycle preferences looking like I have them below), and I bet it will actually drop an Nest on CD18. As for AF showing up late last cycle, it was more than likely that your ovulation was delayed. Remember, the time between AF and ovulation (follicular phase) can vary greatly, but the time between ovulation and AF (luteal phase) will stay relatively the same give or take a day or two.

Since this is your first cycle charting, you don't really know what your normal is yet, it can take a few cycles to learn that.

Hang in there and so many Hug I know what it's like to both lose someone to cancer and to lose pets, it's heartbreaking.

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SadieLady replied on 07-02-2011 1:20 PM

Thanks so much!  I really appreciate that you responded to both of my posts. I changed it to Temperature only and it did drop a little egg on CD 28, which is great because our timing was somewhat ok this month and it's just good to get at least a month of data under our belts.

It has been a really rough few months, but I am already starting to feel more relaxed and more like things will become normal (or some, new version of normal) soon.

Thanks again!


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lbm436 replied on 07-02-2011 1:29 PM

Yup, timing looks great!! Fingers Crossed  Baby Dust

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mombythebay replied on 07-03-2011 11:52 AM

I am so sorry for your losses. Those are really tough experiences.

I've been wondering the same thing about stress and conception. I have also been pregnant before. In fact, I got pregnant the first month I went off BC. I have been trying for only 2 cycles so nothing to worry about yet, but last month I had sex the three days before ovulation and didn't conceive. That said, I had a trial (I am a lawyer) the day after I ovulated (or, I think I ovulated based on my temperatures but I also got sick around the same time). I was super stressed about the trial and while I don't think it delayed my ovulation, maybe it impacted conception?

I want to reduce my stress this month around my O time but I have another trial on July 18 and I will likely O on Jul 14! (And my mother is coming to visit next week which is usually stressful for me). People get pregnant all the time in the midst of war and whatnot though.

Anyway, good luck to us all!



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SadieLady replied on 07-05-2011 6:17 PM

Thanks for replying! It feels oddly comforting to know that someone else is asking similar questions. I suppose stress impacts everyone differently and what will impact ovulation and conception for one woman might not do the same for another. I wish you lots of luck and hope it works out for you this month!! Let me know when it does happen - I'd be happy to celebrate with you!

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