Procreation Vacations: Getaways That Deliver
Conception-friendly resort packages ... can't hurt!
A single candle throws shadows along the walls as the gentle hum of lutes lulls me toward peaceful oblivion. My muscles melt like butter beneath the strong hands of the masseuse as he soothes away tension. After my massage, my only plans are to spend a pleasant afternoon lounging by the infinity pool, then tonight I’ll get dolled up for a romantic dinner with my husband as we dine beachside, the sound of the surf our only background music. I’m experiencing the Procreation Vacation package at the Westin Our Lucaya Resort on Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas.
Offered by a handful of luxury resorts, procreation vacations are getaways designed to put couples in the mood for baby-making. Combining romance with fertility-boosting amenities like sea moss elixirs and chaste tree berry massages, these getaways are supposed to aid conception by reducing stress and allowing couples time to focus on each other and their family-building goals.
My husband and I booked the trip after our doctor suggested stress might be interfering with our efforts to conceive our second child. Cycle after cycle of negative tests, disappointment, and growing frustration were beginning to take their toll on both of us. After eight months of trying, we thought several days of pampering might be just the prescription we needed to hasten the pitter-patter of little feet.
How Stress Affects Fertility
More studies need to be conducted on the relationship between stress and infertility, but stress appears to impact fertility by interfering with ovulation. “Some studies have associated stress factors in lowered fertility, but cause-effect has not been shown unless oligo-ovulation (infrequent or irregular ovulation) occurs,” says Dr. David Adamson, MD, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). “Stress hormones can affect reproductive hormones as well as adrenal hormones,” says Dr. Lisa Kolp, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center in Baltimore, Maryland. “Adrenal hormones affect the function of the ovary and sperm production.” According to ASRM, ovulation dysfunction accounts for about 40 percent of female infertility. This type of infertility is most influenced by lifestyle factors, including stress.
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