The Effect of Stress on Pregnancy

August 20, 2010

New research explains why to provide relaxation techniques to stressed patients who are trying to conceive.

New research out of the University of Oxford explains why you should be providing relaxation techniques to your stressed out patients who are trying to become pregnant. Teaming up with the US National Institutes of Health, the researchers provide the first-ever evidence of a link between “high levels of a biological marker for stress and reduced chances of a woman conceiving during the fertile days of her monthly cycle.”

“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,” explained Dr. Cecilia Pyper, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford. “We looked at a group of healthy women aged between 18 and 40 who were all planning a pregnancy. We found that those women with high levels of a marker for stress were less likely to succeed in conceiving.”

Though the inability to become pregnant can become incredibly frustrating and stressful, Pyper said the study findings “support the idea that couples should aim to stay as relaxed as they can about trying for a baby. In some people’s cases, it might be relevant to look at relaxation techniques, counselling and even approaches like yoga and meditation.”

For More:

  • Read the full press release from the University of Oxford
  • Check out the published study results in Fertility and Sterility
  • Learn how mid-age stress can contribute to late-life dementia
  • Read about how marriage and committed romance can reduce stress-related hormone production
  • Gain an understanding of how childhood memories of one’s father can have a lasting impact on men’s ability to handle stress