Having difficulty conceiving can be a stressful experience for any couple. Now, researchers have data that suggests preconception stress might play a role in infertility.
According to research by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, women with higher levels of alpha-amylase, a biomarker of stress measured in saliva, are 29% less inclined to conceive each month. They are also more than twice as prone to not get pregnant despite 12 months of regular unprotected sex.
Scientists studied saliva samples from over 300 American women between the ages of 18 and 40 who didn’t have known fertility problems and had just began trying to conceive.
Study leader Dr Courtney Denning-Johnson Lynch, from Ohio State University in the US, said results of this research should encourage women who are experiencing difficulty getting pregnant to consider managing their stress using stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness. However, she said that couples shouldn’t blame themselves if they are experiencing fertility problems, as stress isn’t the only or most important factor involved in a woman’s ability to get pregnant.
The new findings are published in the latest online edition of the journal Human Reproduction.
Source: The Guardian