Fertility treatment is stress‐generating. Couples experiencing such stress are further concerned with the possibility that stress, in itself, may compromise the chance of treatment success. An internet search using the terms ‘fertility’ and ‘stress’ retrieves countless hits supporting the concept of stress adversely affecting fertility.In this issue, Cesta and colleagues report a prospective observational study investigating the effect of stress on the success of IVF. The study quantified stress by women's self‐reported stress levels, which was a subjective measure; supplemented by the measurement of salivary cortisol levels, which was an objective measure of stress. The authors assembled a prospective cohort (n = 485) starting fertility treatment. Female participants were given two varieties of questionnaires to estimate self‐reported stress. There was no group not undergoing fertility treatment, so it is not possible to estimate the extent of increase in the stress related to fertility treatment from this study. However, the authors compared the success (embryo quality and clinical pregnancy rate) in subgroups of their cohort. There was a significant correlation between the scores obtained by the two questionnaires, but interestingly, the scores did not correlate with salivary cortisol levels. None of the stress measures correlated with success, regardless of the way success
Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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