March 3, 2011

Stress and Fertility Treatment

(Ivanhoe Newswire) --75 percent of the general population experiences at least "some stress" every two weeks, and if you're having problems conceiving through in vitro fertilization, it can only add to the abundant stress already tacked on from your daily life.  Here's some good news to help relieve those tight nerves: The previous notion that stress might stop assisted reproduction therapies from working is completely bogus .

Infertility is the most common reason for women aged 20 "“ 45 to see their GP, after pregnancy itself.  It's estimated to affect around one in six or one in seven couples "“ approximately 3.5 million people "“ at some point.  Although the majority of these will become pregnant naturally given time, a significant minority will not.

If you're having difficulties conceiving, you might have already heard someone say "Ëœdon't think about it and you'll get pregnant.'  Many infertile women have the false perception that emotional distress is a factor in not getting pregnant naturally or lack of success with fertility treatment, and "not thinking about it" might solve all of their problems. 

 By undertaking a meta-analysis of related research, Professor Jacky Boivin of the Cardiff Fertility Studies Research Group  investigated the links between the success of fertility treatment and stress.

The review included fourteen studies with 3,583 infertile women undergoing a cycle of fertility treatment.  The women were assessed before fertility treatment for anxiety and stress.  Boivin then compared data for the women who achieved pregnancy and those who did not.

The report concluded that emotional distress was not associated with whether or not a woman became pregnant.

"These findings should reassure women that emotional distress caused by fertility problems or other life events co-occurring with treatment will not compromise their chance of becoming pregnant," which Boivin was quoted as saying.

SOURCE: British Medical Journal (BMJ), 24 February 2011