Could Your Type A Personality Prevent You From Getting Pregnant?

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I know what you’re thinking: You always hear stories about people’s friends and colleagues who get pregnant when they finally “stop trying,” and I heard them too. But I never really got it. I mean, there were months when I wasn’t “trying,” and I didn’t get pregnant.

But I hadn’t truly let go. I thought I had surrendered, I thought I was trusting the process, but every other thought was still consumed with questions like “Am I ovulating?” or “Did I have intercourse at the right time?” Turns out, the personality traits that make so many of us successful in our careers are also inhibiting our fertility. Who would have thought?

I suddenly realized that I was putting all of this subconscious stress on my body because I wanted something so badly—and yet I could not achieve it, which led to a cascade of negative emotions and feelings of failure, which lead to even more stress. And as a physician, I knew that when your body is in chronic stress mode, or “fight or flight,” you actually have lower adrenal hormones and progesterone, which inhibits ovulation, making it more difficult to conceive.

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I knew this was something I had to work on and that I was the only thing standing in the way of my fertility. It wasn’t until I turned inward, did some soul searching, and acknowledged that my personality (at least in this instance) was my weakness that I truly surrendered to the process. Mindfulness, guided meditation, and hypnotherapy were the tools that I personally needed to let go of (yours might be different), and not long after implementing them, I got the positive pregnancy test I was praying for. It’s easy to say retrospectively that all I had to do was “stop caring,” but I know it took work, deep soul-searching, and self-reflection.

Today, as a functional medicine doctor, I continue to work with tons of women to help them conceive. And regardless of what other approaches we take to ensure optimal health and fertility, I always make sure they know the power of their thoughts.

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