Stress reduces the chances of pregnancy
A study in the United States with 400 women aged 40, says that stress negatively affects the chances of getting pregnant. It was found that women who feel stress during their ovulatory window or fertility period are 40 percent less likely to conceive. In addition, those who feel more stress generally have 45 percent fewer options.
The research was conducted by epidemiologist Kira Taylor of the School of Public Health and Information Sciences at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and colleagues along with other professionals from Emory University in Atlanta. According to the experts, “women who reported feeling more stressed during their ovulatory window were approximately 40 percent less likely to conceive during that month than in other less stressful months.”
The results of the study were published in the Annals of Epidemiology, reports the University of Louisville on its website.
As a sample, the study evaluated 400 women 40 years of age and younger, who were sexually active, recorded their daily stress levels measured on a scale of one to four (from less to more). They also told about menstruation, sex, contraception, and alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. Urine samples were collected throughout the study, and women were followed until they became pregnant or until the study ended, for an average of eight menstrual cycles.
The researchers calculated average levels of stress during each phase of the menstrual cycle – day 14 was considered the estimated time of ovulation. They found that the negative effect of stress on fertility was only observed during the window of ovulation, and remained so after adjusting for other factors such as age, body mass index, alcohol consumption and frequency of intercourse.
Other findings The study also found that women who conceived experienced increased stress at the end of the month in which they became pregnant. Taylor hypothesized that this could be the result of two factors: women became stressed after having a pregnancy test and knowing that they were pregnant, and / or, “most likely”, increased stress was a result of Changes in hormone levels caused by the pregnancy itself.
“Some people are skeptical that emotional and psychological attributes can affect fertility,” says Taylor. “I hope that the results of this study will serve as a wake-up call for physicians and the general public that health and psychological well-being is as important, when it comes to conceiving, as other more commonly accepted risk factors such Like smoking, drinking alcohol, or obesity.”