Infertility: Is stress a contributing factor?

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Infertility: Is stress a contributing factor?

Question

Can stress cause infertility?

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Answer

This is a good question with no clear answer. Although there is little doubt that infertility often causes considerable stress, the question of whether stress can cause infertility remains unsettled.

Theoretically, stress could impair fertility if it has a direct impact on hormones. For example, emotional stress in some women causes ovulation to stop. Stress could also have an indirect impact on fertility by impairing the desire for sexual intercourse. But there is no definitive evidence that stress alone causes infertility.

Certainly, if you are experiencing infertility, you should address any accompanying stress or anxiety. A mental health professional can be helpful in teaching techniques to manage stress.

Last Updated: 04/19/2006
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