Too much stress can double the risk of infertility in women, scientists have found.
Researchers said those who displayed high levels of stress were half as likely to conceive within a year. They suggested that simple relaxation methods such as going for a daily 20-minute walk may increase the chance of becoming pregnant.
The links between stress hormones and a reduced probability of falling pregnant were established by scientists in 2010 but the latest study is the first to find that emotional and mental strains can cause infertility, which is clinically defined as not conceiving within 12 months of trying.
The American scientists tracked 501 couples for a year and measured their levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme in saliva that indicates stress. Women with high levels were 29% less likely to get pregnant each month than those with low levels, the researchers found.
Dr Allan Pacey, fertility expert at the University of Sheffield says, “couples attempting to conceive are often concerned about their lifestyle and whether stress might influence their ability to conceive. It is often apparent that couples worrying about their stress can then become more stressed because they are worrying about being stressed.”
What do you think those trying to conceive can do to help their changes? What methods have you tried?
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