For the best IVF success, don’t worry, be happy

Enrolling in a stress-management class might help women undergoing in vitro fertilization get pregnant, according to a May study.

The finding is in line with other recent work suggesting that stress relief might up the success rate for women who have trouble conceiving.

“Women who are in infertility treatment do report huge amounts of stress,” Courtney Lynch, the head of reproductive epidemiology at Ohio State University, said in May. “One of the reasons IVF is not as effective as we’d like it to be is that some couples don’t make it to cycle 2 and cycle 3 because they’re so stressed out.”

While evidence has been mounting that high stress is linked with infertility, especially in women getting fertility treatment, Lynch described it as “a chicken and egg problem.”

Alice Domar of Boston IVF, who ran the study with colleagues, said it makes sense that lots of stress can make it harder to conceive. After all, when our ancestors were overwhelmed by the difficulties of finding food and harsh conditions, it probably wasn’t the best time to add a baby.


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