Study: High stress levels may influence fertility

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A new study claims high levels of stress can make it much more difficult for a woman to get pregnant.

Researchers say this is the first time stress has been linked to a significant risk of infertility.

Researchers at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center tracked more than 500 couples who did not have any known fertility problems for one year.

They collected saliva samples and analyzed them for specific enzymes related to stress.

They found women with higher levels of a stress biomarker actually took 29-percent longer to get pregnant.

And their risk of infertility doubled.

"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," said Dr. Courtney Lynch, PhD. "As you continue to try to conceive and it's been 5, 6 months, and perhaps you're not yet pregnant, then maybe it's something you might want to look at in terms of improving your overall lifestyle."

The researchers say, there are many other factors that could play into infertility.

They suggest women eliminate stressors before trying to get pregnant or try relaxation practices like meditation or yoga.

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