Study suggested that stress has negative impact on women’s fertility

In North America, 20%–25% of women and 18%–21% of men of reproductive age report daily psychological stress. A study has assessed the association of stress and fertility in couples from the general population.

The data used in this study was from Pregnancy Study Online, a web-based preconception cohort study of pregnancy planners from the United States and Canada (2013–2018), to examine the association between women’s and men’s perceived stress levels prior to conception and fertility. Women (aged 21–45 years) and their male partners (aged ≥21 years) who were attempting conception without fertility treatment were chosen.

Perceived stress was measured using the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Pregnancy information was checked using bimonthly follow-up questionnaires of female participants. 4,769 couples participated the study until self-reported pregnancy, initiation of fertility treatment, loss to follow-up, or 12 menstrual cycles of attempt time, whichever came first.

Higher PSS scores among the women, not men associated with slight reductions in fertility was found in this study.


Amelia K Wesselink American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 187, Issue 12, December 2018, Pages 2662–2671

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