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HHS HealthBeat (April 28, 2014)

Stress and pregnancy

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers have found a link between greater stress and a lower likelihood that a woman would become pregnant. At the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Courtney Lynch checked a biological measure of stress in about 500 women ages 18 to 40 who were trying to become pregnant. The study followed the women for 12 months or until they became pregnant:

“Higher levels of stress at the outset, when they got started, were in fact associated with infertility – which is the first time that’s ever been shown.”

Lynch says activities such as yoga and meditation can reduce stress – and she says that, while they haven’t yet been shown to improve the chances of pregnancy, they might be worth trying.   

The study in the journal Human Reproduction was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 28, 2014