High Stress Levels Can Harm Pregnancies
Stressseems to be everywhere and linked to anything nowadays. New studies show that it may also have a link with pregnancy – high stress levels may delay pregnancy. Some researchers at the Oxford University measured the stress hormones in women who were planning to have a baby and they found that those who were very stressed had reduced chances of being able to conceive. They said that relaxation may be the key, but some more research must be done.
The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility and it followed 274 healthy women with their age between 18 and 40 who were planning a pregnancy. It is known that smoking, old age and alcohol have some negative effects on pregnancies, but there’s nothing clear known about how stress affects them. So, they measured the markers for two stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol – the one that is connected with chronic stress) in saliva and discovered that there were no differences in the chances of conceiving with cortisol, but those who had the highest levels of alpha-amylase (this is an indicator of the adrenalin levels) had around a 12% reduced chance of getting pregnant during their fertile days that month in comparison to the women who had the lowest levels of the marker. Some anecdotal reports have always linked stress with infertility, but direct scientific evidence has been very hard to find. Well, know it has been shown that stress does have something to do with pregnancies.
Dr Cecilia Pyper, of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, said that this study aimed to improve the way in which we understand the factors that influence pregnancy in normal healthy women. “This is the first study to find that a biological measure of stress is associated with a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant that month. The findings support the idea that couples should aim to stay as relaxed as they can about trying for a baby. In some people’s cases, it might be relevant to look at relaxation techniques, counseling and even approaches like yoga and meditation,” she said.
The research for the study was carried out in collaboration with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development in the US and it is part of a larger study that is concerned with the effect of factors like smoking, alcohol, and caffeine on chances of pregnancy. Being acquainted to the study, Joanne Taylor, a midwife for baby charity Tommy’s said that “Stress does affect people in different ways, and therefore may affect some women’s chances of trying to conceive. There are a number of ways in which women can prepare themselves for a healthy pregnancy – maintaining a healthy diet, taking folic acid supplements and keeping stress levels to a minimum is a good start.”
Although up till now no one really knew the effects of stress on pregnancies, now that these results are out, it seems pretty obvious that it had to have something to do with them. Stress is a very pregnant part of our lives and it controls almost anything in our bodies. So, if you want to be a mom, be more careful and try relaxing yourself with methods like yoga, because it can help you conceive more than you think.11