What does medical science have to say about the impact stress has on fertility and women who are dealing with infertility?

Research demonstrates the effects of stress are multilayered, including direct effects on the body and indirect effects on a person’s ability to copy and stay in treatment. If I included all the research, this newsletter would be more like the length of a doctoral dissertation. Let me review four of the studies.

In a study of women undergoing either IVF or GIFT procedures, researchers asked the question: Does stress affect fertility and pregnancy rates? The researchers looked at whether stress from a patient’s life situation or stress from the procedure negatively reduced the patient’s ability to achieve pregnancy or to have a live birth. The women were given questionnaires to rate their moods, feelings about infertility, expectation of achieving pregnancy, amount of social support, coping style, and overall stress levels. The questionnaires were completed at their first clinic visit, before and after hormone use, and before embryo transfer.

The results of this study found women who had higher expectations of achieving pregnancy and had less overall stress had a greater number of eggs retrieved and fertilized, a higher number of embryos to transfer, and a higher pregnancy rate as compared to the women who had a lower expectation of pregnancy and a higher rate of stress.

Another study looked at the impact of group psychological interventions on women who had been experiencing infertility for less than two years. This study found women who participated in a mind~body group were more likely to conceive as those who did not.

A third study looked at why women who carry insurance for IVF stop treatment before having a live birth. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents stated it was stress that stopped their participation. The main stressors reported were the impact on their relationships and feelings of anxiety and depression.

Finally, a study looked at the impact of a mind~body group on women, 40 or younger, going through their first IVF cycle. Fifty-two percent of the women participating in the group were successful, while only 20% of the control group became pregnant.

While research demonstrates a mind~body~spirit approach is not a magic pill that guarantees pregnancy, this type of approach, whether used on its own or in conjunction with a medical approach, improves the likelihood of pregnancy.

Possibly even more importantly, it lessens anxiety and depression and gives tangible coping skills for this very challenging life situation. Why do I say this is even more important that getting pregnant? You are able to return to yourself and make choices about treatment from your whole self, which means you make decisions you will be at peace with for the rest of your life.

Not only that, when you are successful, when you do bring your beautiful baby home, you will be able to be even more present and have the tools to help you with the myriad of emotions that come with being a new mother.

Whether you choose to use my products or services, or some other practitioner’s, I highly encourage you to bring this approach into your journey. Your body, mind, and spirit will be refreshed and help lay the foundation to bring you your baby.

Source

Domar AD1, Clapp D, Slawsby EA, Dusek J, Kessel B, Freizinger M. Impact of group psychological interventions on pregnancy rates in infertile women. Fertil Steril. 2000 Apr;73(4):805-11.

Domar AD1, Smith K, Conboy L, Iannone M, Alper M. A prospective investigation into the reasons why insured United States patients drop out of in vitro fertilization treatment. Fertil Steril. 2010 Sep;94(4):1457-9

Domar AD1, Rooney KL, Wiegand B, Orav EJ, Alper MM, Berger BM, Nikolovski J.
Impact of a group mind/body intervention on pregnancy rates in IVF patients. Fertil Steril. 2011 Jun;95(7):2269-73.

Klonoff-Cohen H, Chu E, Natarajan L, Seiber W. A prospective study of stress among women undergoing in vitro fertilitzation or gamete intrafallopian transfer. Fertility and Sterility 2001;76:675-687.

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit http://www.anjionline.com.