Stress may delay conception

By Sheryl Kay • Published: November 3rd, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

As many women know, there is no one remedy for those who repeatedly try to get pregnant, and continually do not conceive.

A quieter, more laidback lifestyle just might be part of the solution when infertility doesn’t appear to be the issue.

It’s no secret a hassle-free environment leads to less stress, whether you’re hoping for a visit from the Stork or not. But research now confirms that when women feel less anxiety and tension, they are more likely to become pregnant if they are trying to conceive.

A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility examined the relationship between stress and time to conception.

Almost three hundred women ages eighteen to forty were evaluated for six menstrual cycles, or until they got pregnant, whichever came first.

At the end of the first week of each cycle the participants gave saliva samples. These were then screened for biomarkers… substances in the samples that indicate a physical state… to find out whether they were experiencing stress.

After taking into account factors such as age, alcohol intake and how often the women had sex, scientists found that participants with the highest concentrations of a substance called alpha amylase during the first menstrual cycle were significantly less likely to conceive than women with the lowest levels.

Future studies with more participants are planned to confirm the findings. In the meantime, researchers recommended that women hoping to conceive should try to slow down and unwind using whatever technique works best for them… other than, of course, consuming alcohol or smoking cigarettes.

After that, it could be a matter of simply letting nature take its course.