Study: Stress could play a role with infertility - KMSP-TV

Study: Stress could play a role with infertility

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(WJBK) -

Infertility can be emotionally painful and physically frustrating but now doctors for the first time have found one possible cause. The more stress a woman is under, the more trouble she may have getting pregnant.  

This is the first time stress has been linked to a significant risk for infertility.

As the mother of seven-year-old triplets, Abigail David says she expects a certain amount of stress in her life. But the stress she was under before a life kids may have been making conception harder in the first place.  

Abigail was not only working full time, but while she and her husband were trying to start a family she was also trying to start a business.  

"During that time it was a huge crunch time. And I actually did not get pregnant until after we had opened our doors," she says.     

A new study shows Abigail's timing may have been more than a coincidence.    

Dr. Courtney Lynch of Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center led a team of researchers that made the connection between stress and a couple's inability to get pregnant.

To make the connection, Lynch followed more than 400 couples for a year, collecting samples of saliva throughout. She found that women with the highest levels of a stress biomarker had a 29 percent decrease in the probability of getting pregnant and her risk of infertility more than doubled.   

"As you continue to try to conceive and it's been five, six months, and perhaps you're not yet pregnant, then maybe it's something you might want to look at in terms of improving your overall lifestyle," Lynch suggests.

Lynch says meditation or yoga could help, although no studies prove this yet. She reminds that other factors can also lead to infertility.

Her study is published in the Journal of Human Reproduction.

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