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: