Last week infertility hit the UK news with the surprising results published showing that stress did not alter the outcome of IVF & other assister reproductive techniques. This research seems to go against much that has previously been thought, and is quite surprising yet good news for those going through IVF.
Currently many patients undergoing assisted reproduction do seek help managing their stress thinking that this will increase their chances of a successful outcome. It is quite common for example for women undergoing IVF treatment to also have accupuncture or use other alternative therapies to help manage the stress.
Here is an extract from the BBC coverage of the story:
Fertility treatment success is not prevented by stress BBC 25/2/11
Emotional distress does not affect the success of IVF or other assisted reproductive techniques, according to a study.
The report, published in the British Medical Journal aims to dispel the myth that stress prevents women from becoming pregnant.
Researchers from Cardiff University reviewed 14 previous studies involving 3,583 women.
Patient charity Infertility Network said the report was encouraging.
The report reviewed previous research studies into the efficacy of assisted reproduction therapy.
In the 14 studies examined, women had had their stress levels assessed before beginning treatment and then underwent a single cycle of assisted reproductive therapy.
Stress levels were measured using recognised psychological techniques and included traits such as anxiety, tension and depression
In each study the researchers looked at whether women who were stressed before the start of their treatment were any more or less likely to become pregnant.
The results showed that stress had no impact on whether a woman became pregnant or not, with women who were stressed becoming pregnant at the same rates as those who were not.