Trying for a baby? Fed up of being told that if you just ‘relax’ you will fall pregnant -with the implication being that not falling pregnant is somehow your fault? Then take heart. A new study has shown that stress and tension do not reduce your chances of getting pregnant through IVF.
Researchers at the Cardiff Fertility Studies Research Group studied 3,583 women to investigate the link between stress and fertility. They looked at levels of anxiety and stress before fertility treatment and then examined which women in the group got pregnant and which didn’t to see if there was a link. The overwhelming conclusion was that stress and anxiety had no bearing on the chances of a woman becoming pregnant.
Debunk the myth
Lead author Professor Jacky Boivin is keen to debunk the idea that nervous women are somehow harming their chances of being mums. Jacky says that you often hear how someone adopted a child “and then she got pregnant, or they went on holiday and they got pregnant. Anything that reduces people’s stress seems to cause people to have pregnancies. Sometimes nursing staff say to people ‘don’t think about it and you’ll get pregnant.’ But if you look at the spontaneous conception rate for people who adopt and people who don’t adopt, it is more or less the same. You are just more likely to recall someone who adopted and got pregnant.”
So if you are undergoing fertility treatment, or are one of the 35,000 women in the UK this year being treated for fertility problems don’t layer on the guilt. You may well be feeling stressed and anxious and this is perfectly natural. But be reassured that this is not affecting your chances of getting pregnant.