Psychological Stress Doesn't Impact IVF

Swedish researchers find calming news in new study

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THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Psychological stress does not seem to influence the outcome of in vitro fertilization, according to Swedish researchers.

The new findings appear to be good news for women who fear that the anxiety they suffer during fertility treatment might harm their chances of conception, said lead author Lisbeth Anderheim, a midwife at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.

Past research on the effects of stress on IVF success has been conflicting, with some studies finding an effect while others have not.

In this study, published in the Aug. 25 issue of Human Reproduction, more than 160 women filled out questionnaires during fertility treatment. The completed questionnaires displayed no difference in anxiety levels between those who became pregnant and those who didn't.

"During IVF treatment, patients frequently ask about the relationship between psychological stress and outcome, and often express worries that their own stress might have a negative influence, so the fact that our prospective study did not indicate any relationship is reassuring," Anderheim said in a prepared statement. "This is a positive message we can give our patients to help decrease their stress at this time.

More information

The National Women's Health Information Center has more about infertility.

SOURCE: Human Reproduction, news release, Aug. 25, 2005

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