Stress does not affect IVF success

Stress during infertility treatment will not prevent you from becoming pregnant, according to research.

The report, published in the British Medical Journal reassures mums-to-be that the emotional distress infertility treatment can cause, or the day-to-day stresses of life events, will not cause fertility treatments such as vitro fertilisation (IVF) to fail.

Fertility anxiety

Many women believe that stress is related to their ability to conceive. Professor Jacky Boivin, of Cardiff University, said: “Women having fertility treatment do worry that stress can affect their chances of becoming pregnant.

“A lot of them will be having to take time off work to fit in medical appointments and this can all add to the mental pressure they are under.

“But our findings show that there is no reason for them to fret even more that any difficulties they are facing may prevent them from becoming pregnant. They can at least relax about that.”

The review of 14 studies in 3,583 women from 10 different countries show that  women who became pregnant after the treatment cycle did not differ significantly in levels of anxiety or depression before their treatment than women who did not become pregnant.

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BBC News, Fertility treatment success is not prevented by stress. BBC News, 25 Feb 2011

Boivin J, Griffiths E, Venetis CA. Emotional distress in infertile women and failure of assisted reproductive technologies: meta-analysis of prospective psychosocial studies. British Medical Journal 2011; 342: d223

Fertility Support UK

For information and support on fertility issues click through to the Infertility Network UK


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