High stress levels can damage a woman’s chances of getting pregnant, researchers warn. Those who are anxious are 12 per cent less likely to conceive during their fertile time than those who stay calm. It is the first proof that stress makes it less likely a woman will fall pregnant, despite long-standing anecdotal evidence that being relaxed can improve the chances.
Although the fall in success rates appears small, experts claim it can make a big difference to older women trying to have a baby when their fertility is naturally declining because of age.
In a study at Oxford University and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, blood levels of a marker for a stress hormone called alphaamylase were consistently higher in women who had trouble conceiving.
Dr Cecilia Pyper, from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, said: ‘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.
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