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Stress reduces chance of pregnancy

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Experts have revealed that staying calm is a key ingredient to falling pregnant.

Women who are stressed are 12% less likely to fall pregnant when they are most fertile than those who are relaxed.

Women have frequently been told that if they are trying to fall pregnant they must stay calm, but this has never been proved clinically. But the importance of relaxing when trying for a baby has now been looked into by scientists from Oxford University.

They carried out saliva tests on 274 women and analysed levels of the stress hormone cortisol and the enzyme alpha-amylase (an indicator of adrenalin levels).

All the women were aged between 18 and 40 and were trying for a baby naturally.

The study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found no effect from cortisol on the chances of falling pregnant.

But women in the group with the highest levels of alpha-amylase had a 12% lower chance of falling pregnant for each day of their most fertile days than those with the lowest levels of alpha-amylase.

The authors concluded: “Stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window.”

Dr Cecilia Pyper, from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, said: “This is the first study to find that a biological measure of stress is associated with a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant that month.

“We found that those women with high levels of a marker for stress were less likely to succeed in conceiving.”

Click here to see the article in Fertility and Sterility

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Readers' comments (1)

  • hasn't that been fairly obviously since the year dot. Stress may also be a cause for miscarriage in pregnant women. the mind boggles at all this new research being carried out on what is already known instead of placing the tax payers' precious and limited resources where they are really needed to save lives! It really is sa great source of concern and such wastage should be taken far more seriously.

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