Whilst stress is thought affect whether you conceive naturally, according to new research it doesn’t affect the outcome of IVF.
Researchers from Cardiff University assessed over 3,500 women for stress and anxiety before they underwent fertility treatment, comparing data on women who did become pregnant and those who did not.
According to the results, emotional distress apparently had no affect on whether pregnancy was achieved through IVF.
But the researchers say this may not apply to those trying to conceive naturally, where stress is thought to have some bearing on whether they conceive. Quite why stress doesn’t affect IVF is thought to be down to the fertility drugs used in treatment.
However, going through IVF itself is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s why all of our patients are given thorough counselling every step of the way as they go on their journey with us. It’s good to see that research is now showing that anxiety doesn’t scientifically affect outcomes, because for many of the couples we see, emotional stress is a perfectly normal ‘side effect’ of treatment.
It’s only natural to feel anxious about whether the treatment will work, except now you apparently don’t need to worry further about whether it’s going to affect your chances of pregnancy.
Further research is still needed however to assess whether it truly does affect natural conception. So for now, the advice is still to relax if you’re trying to get pregnant naturally.
Last updated: 7th March 2011