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Does stress affect women's fertility?

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2018 06:48 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 2 (ANI): Women, take note! Higher levels of stress are associated with lower odds of conception for females, but not for males.
This is the conclusion of the study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).
"Although this study does not definitely prove that stress causes infertility, it does provide evidence supporting the integration of mental health care in preconception guidance and care," said lead author Amelia Wesselink.
The researchers measured perceived stress using the 10-item version of the perceived stress scale (PSS), which is designed to assess how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overwhelming an individual finds their life circumstances.
The items referred to the past month, with five response choices ranging from 0 (never) to 4 (very often), up to a total of 40, with a higher total score indicating a higher level of perceived stress.
On average, baseline PSS scores were about 1 point higher among women than men, and the average follow-up PSS scores among women remained fairly constant over the 12 months that they participated in the study.
The researchers found women with PSS scores of at least 25 were 13 percent less likely to conceive than women with PSS scores under 10.
The researchers found that, if the link between higher levels of stress and lower odds of conception is a causal association, a small proportion of that association could be due to decreased intercourse frequency and increased menstrual cycle irregularity.
The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. (ANI)

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