. High stress during ovulation window may affect chances of conception
Higher levels of stress in women may reduce their chance to conceive a baby,
a study has found. Women who reported feeling more stressed during their ovulatory window were approximately 40 per cent less likely to conceive during that month than other less stressful months. “These findings add more evidence to a very limited body of research investigating whether perceived stress can affect fertility. The results imply that women who wish to conceive may increase their chances by taking active steps towards stress reduction such as exercising, enrolling in a stress management programme or talking to a health professional,” said Kira Taylor, researcher at the University of Louisville, US. In the study, 400 women who were 40-years-old and younger and were sexually active recorded their daily stress levels measured on a scale from one to four (low to high). The diaries also contained information regarding menstruation, intercourse, contraception, alcohol, caffeine and smoking. Urine samples were also collected and women were followed until they became pregnant or until the study ended for an average of eight menstrual cycles. Researchers in the study published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology calculated mean stress levels during each phase of the menstrual cycle, with day 14 as the estimated time of ovulation.