Experts from Oxford University conducted a study involving 274 healthy women aged 18-40. Scientists measured stress hormone levels in the women, all of whom were planning a baby and found that it was those who were the most stressed that stood a reduced chance of falling pregnant.
Both adrenalin and cortisol levels were measured in the women’s saliva and experts found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase (indicator of adrenalin levels) had about a 12% reduced chance of falling pregnant during their fertile days that month compared with those with lower levels. Researchers also concluded that cortisol did not affect chances of becoming pregnant.
Dr Cecilia Pyper, of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, said their study aimed to improve understanding of what different factors influence pregnancy.
She said: “In some people’s cases, it might be relevant to look at relaxation techniques, counselling and even approaches like yoga and meditation.”
Counselling and talking therapies are often recommended for stress reduction and if you are having difficulty conceiving you may find it helpful to talk to a counsellor in confidence. A counselling environment can help individuals to discuss and identify what triggers their stress so they can effectively deal with the source.
To find more information about how counselling can helps stress please visit the Types of Distress section of this site and if you would like to contact a counsellor please visit the homepage and use the search tool to locate a practitioner near you.