Rising rates of infertility in Australia and New Zealand

The effects of smoking, being overweight and stressed in infertility

Increasing age of first-time parents, smoking, obesity, escalating rates of female reproductive disorders and a high prevalence of male infertility are all contributing to the increased popularity of medically assisted reproduction techniques (ARTs). In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most popular ARTs couples turn to when natural conception fails. In Australia and New Zealand 56,817 ART procedures were performed in 2007, ultimately leading to 10,856 live born babies – that is a success rate of less than 20%.1 The financial and emotional costs of ARTs is high, with many couples undergoing multiple treatment cycles with no successful outcome. The irony is that the stress of undergoing these treatments may in fact limit their success rate.

  • Stress directly impacts on reproductive health. When stress activates the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA), the consequent release of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol directly impacts on healthy reproductive function. Stress causes the hypothalamus to increase CRH release, which inhibits gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion. In turn, rising cortisol levels inhibit the release of luteinizing hormone (LH), ovarian estrogen and progesterone. These effects are responsible for the “hypothalamic” amenorrhea of stress, which is observed in women during times of anxiety, depression, malnutrition, eating disorders and chronic excessive exercise.2 This also explains why it is so important to assess and address stress as a key driver of female hormonal imbalances and reproductive disorders.

For more detailed help with individual cases of infertility and to discover detailed protocols for this condition, please contact our professional Naturopathic Practitioner at:

A Natural Self,
A Naturopathy Clinic
Dana Kington
244 South Tce
South Fremantle, 6162

At this natural clinic, you will find all the latest technology, such as Toxicity and Heavy Metal Testing, Live Blood Analysis (Hemaview), and Iridology. We also treat with all forms of Natural Medicine with the nutritional supplementation of Homeopathy, Western Herbs, Chinese Medicine, Vitamins, Minerals, Amino acids and Enzyme Therapy.

  1. Wang YA, Chambers GM, Dieng M & Sullivan EA 2009. Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2007. Assisted reproduction technology series no. 13. Cat. no. PER 47. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. Kalantaridou SN et al. Stress and the female reproductive system. JReproImmun. 2004;62(1):61-68.