Pregnancy and Stress

Do you think that because you are stressed you don’t get pregnant? This is not necessarily so. There are those who claim that there is an association between stress and the results of an assisted reproduction treatment, that is, that stress in a woman could affect her fertility, and consequently have worse results in an assisted reproduction treatment, but there are other authors who deny this association.

What kind of stress can affect pregnancy?

Fourteen publications (meta-analyses) have been evaluated, which together included more than 3500 women with reproductive dysfunction, and the conclusion is: emotional stress – whether due to fertility problems or to other life issues unrelated to reproductive dysfunction but occurring during assisted reproductive treatment – does not compromise the chances of obtaining a pregnancy (Boivin et al. 2011).

This does not mean that the levels of depression reached by women undergoing fertility treatments are not high, so much so that it has recently been published that in 216 women undergoing assisted reproduction treatment, 11.1% used antidepressants. However, only 3% of these patients told the anesthesiologist that they were using these medications.

Many women may feel guilty for thinking that being stressed, sad or depressed could affect the outcome of the treatment they are undergoing, since this implies that if they do not achieve a pregnancy it is because they have collaborated in the failure. But, as we have seen above, this thinking may not be well oriented or justified and the only thing that would be achieved would be to generate even more stress in the patient.

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What should we always bear in mind?

In order to reduce these feelings that cause discomfort in our patients, it is necessary that the professionals of the reproduction centers advise their patients about the benefits of visiting a specialist in Psychology to solve doubts and try to reduce these feelings, taking into account that most probably they will not affect the result of the treatment.

People suffering from stress during their treatment should take into account:

1. If you are stressed, sad, not feeling up to anything, it is important to communicate this to the doctor who is performing the reproductive treatment.

2. Ask for a consultation with the Psychology Unit, designed to support, guide and clear up specific doubts that could hinder the proper functioning of the treatment, and not only for people who are in a bad mood.

3. Remember that being stressed will not necessarily affect the outcome of treatment.