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Effects of Stress on Getting Pregnant

Updated at: Feb 04, 2013
Written by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Jul 26, 2011
Effects of Stress on Getting Pregnant

Effects of stress on Getting Pregnant - Stress has a negative impact on your chances of getting pregnant as it upsets your normal menstrual cycle. Sudden stress affects your fertility more than constant stress.

Effects of Stress on Getting Pregnant

Stress is not only a sex dampener, but can also get in the way of conception. It is bound to happen soon and you just need to relax! This is not a statement to console you but actually proven by research.



[Read: Herbal Vitamins that Help you Get Pregnant]



The hypothalamus of your brain regulates the hormonal functions including the hormones that control the function of release of eggs from ovaries. So, due to the harmful effects of stress on getting pregnant, all your plans of conceiving go for a toss when your ovulation does not happen when you expect it.


Researchers from University of Oxford and the National Institutes of Health in USA got together to study the fertility and conception patterns of 274 couples. These couples were under the scanner for 6 months. None of the women included in the study had a medical history of infertility.


The women’s saliva samples were tested on the sixth day of their ovulation cycle every month. The presence of stress hormones such as alpha-amylase and cortisol was tested in the samples. Cortisol is not a stress hormone.



[Read: How to Get Pregnant in Middle Age]



The level of cortisol had no effect on the chances of getting pregnant on the six days when conception is most likely. High levels of alpha-amylase made the women 12 % less likely conceive on the same 6 days under observation. A distinction need to be made here with regards to sudden stress and constant stress.


With constant stress, the body may be able to acclimatise itself leading to more or less consistent ovulation. Effects of stress on getting pregnant show up much more in cases of sudden stress such as relationship problems, death in the family, an accident and other similar incidents.



[Read: Ways to Increase Female Fertility]



You might want to keep track of your basal body temperature to confirm your ovulation. This will help you conceive despite the adverse effect of stress on pregnancy. You can do so by observing the rise of your body temperature which will last about 12 to 16 days. Positive stress also known as eustress which includes events such as an approaching marriage for a woman can also disturb her normal menstrual cycle.


Effect of stress on fertility is confined to the lengthening of your ovulation period as your luteal phase does not get shortened. This is heartening for women looking to get pregnant. When looking to observe your ovulation cycles, keep track of positive as well as negative stress.


Read more articles on How to Get Pregnant.


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