Advocate. Inform. Empower

We all get stressed, yet not all of us battle to conceive. Interestingly, during times of war, and in poverty-stricken communities, the pregnancy rate is often inordinately high. Surely people battling to meet their basic needs on a daily basis are stressed? We keep hearing that if we are stressed, we won’t fall pregnant – can this be true? We also hear that many couples fall pregnant after adopting a baby, or once they’ve completely given up on their fertility treatment. So is there a link between fertility and stress, and if so what is it?


Female infertility is a growing health concern in today’s society and often, the journey from diagnosis to treatment (or failure thereof) is fraught with uncertainty and emotional distress for a woman and her partner.

There are many causes of female infertility, which are usually investigated for and diagnosed by a gynaecologist or fertility expert. Problems with egg development, ovulation or even anatomical problems with a woman’s reproductive system may be the culprits. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis are well-known examples of female medical conditions that can lead to reduced fertilit

Optimise fertility by addressing body stress:

Are you feeling stressed, having trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, battling with an irregular cycle or struggling to fall pregnant, or suffering from back pain, anxiety, headaches or constipation?  All of these symptoms may signal the progression of stress overload which may be disrupting the body’s optimal functioning.

Uterine and endometrial factors affecting implantation


Implantation is a process whereby the embryo attaches itself to the luminal surface of the endometrium (inner lining of the uterine cavity). This is followed by migration and invasion of the embryo into the deeper stromal layers (Figure 1). Traditionally, implantation has been considered as a process involving only the embryo and the endometrium, but recent studies show that even cumulus cell competency (cells around the egg) may also contribute to the process. While implantation is a process with a well-defined starting point, it is a gradual process which lasts for several weeks with no universal agreement on when the process is completed.

Ask Dr. Edelstein

During our treatment journeys, we all have that one nagging little question or two which we forgot to ask our fertility specialist. IFAASA’s resident fertility expert, Dr Sascha Edelstein, is here to answer those questions. Dr Edelstein is a private OB-GYN with sub-specialist training in Reproductive Medicine. Dr Edelstein practices at HART fertility clinic in Cape Town. Having been through assisted reproduction himself, he has a deep understanding of the physical, emotional & financial hurdles that need to be overcome when going through ART. He tries to offer an holistic, patient-centered fertility treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs, while still constituting best medical practice.

Many embryologists will tell their patients that grading is not an exact science and while they give a good indication of treatment success there are many poor quality embryos that produce live births and many good quality embryos that produce negative results.

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