Fertility Blog

Stress and Infertility: A myth?

by Dr. Susan Sarajari

For a very long time infertility has often been blamed on stress and a woman trying to conceive was often told to “just relax” and she will spontaneously conceive or her fertility treatments might work better if stress is reduced. Interestingly, a recently published review in the British Medical Journal of 14 studies examining stress and the ability to conceive concluded that emotional distress was not related to the likelihood of conceiving a pregnancy.

Even though, stress does not cause infertility, infertility itself causes patients a significant level of stress. One study from the Harvard Medical School published in 1993 showed that the psychological symptoms associated with infertility were similar to those associated with other serious medical conditions, such as cancer. Stress might not cause infertility but stress reduction is still an important consideration in patients undergoing infertility treatments.