If trying to become pregnant has you worked into a frenzy, it might be a good idea to hit a yoga class or practice some deep breathing exercises: according to a study published Monday in the journal Human Reproduction, high levels of stress can double the likelihood of infertility.
Researchers measured levels of the stress markers cortisol and alpha-amylase in the saliva of women trying to conceive. After following 401 women for up to a year, the scientists found that women in the highest third for alpha-amylase had a 29% increase in time-to-pregnancy compared with those in the lowest third, which corresponds to a doubling of the risk of infertility. Cortisol levels, on the other hand, did not appear to play a role in the study participants' likelihood to conceive.
In case you're unsure of the implications of these findings, the authors note:
This is the first US study to demonstrate a prospective association between salivary stress biomarkers and TTP [time-to-pregnancy], and the first in the world to observe an association with infertility.
All this is to say something many MBG readers came to believe long ago: stress can have seriously physiological consequences. Having kids can be a special (and stressful) time for many, but if you want to give yourself the best chance for success, it's best to relax as much as possible! Start that meditation practice, soak in a bath, or take a long walk around the neighborhood. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor!
Via: The Guardian
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