Probably much to the consternation of couples everywhere, stress is frequently cited by well-wishing meddlers as a reason behind difficulty in conceiving.
An article published in British Medical Journal reviewed data from thousands of couples undergoing treatment, spanning 14 studies. The review compared stress rates with success rates, and found no correlation between higher levels of stress and success of treatment. Researchers reviewed the data from several perspectives, and the New York Times points out that “[regardless of] how they looked at the data, the researchers could find no association between high emotional stress and failure of the completed fertility treatment cycle.”
Pointedly, professor of health psychology at Cardiff University in Wales and the study’s lead author, Jacky Boivin, had this to say about the study’s results and the prevailing “wisdom” surrounding stress and making babies:
“Dealing with stress,” she said, “should be more about improving people’s quality of life rather than improving their chances of conception.”