Having a hard time trying to conceive? New studies show that stress can double women’s risk of infertility and that those who are more stressed are half as like to conceive within one year
Previously, scientists in 2010 found there were links between stress hormones and a reduced chance of falling pregnant. Yet, this recent study is the first to find that mental and emotional forms of stress can prohibit conceiving within 12 months of trying.
‘The importance of this study is that we were able to follow women for the whole 12 months, which is the clinical cut-off to define infertility,’ said researcher Dr Courtney Denning-Johnson Lynch from Ohio State University.
American scientists conducted a study on 501 couples for a year. They found that 29 percent of women with high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme found in saliva that indicates stress levels, are less likely to get pregnant each month.
‘Typically after 12 months, physicians recommend that you come in and get checked and potentially consider infertility treatment,’ said Dr Lynch.
She says the biggest challenge is focusing on how to relieve women of their stress. Meditation, yoga and even a 20-minute walk per day can successfully reduce stress.
Although women shouldn’t stress about being too stressed, which Dr Lynch says may perpetuate a vicious cycle, women should try simple daily activities that can help increase a relaxed state of mind.