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Does Stress Affect Fertility?

We’ve all heard the advice, “Just relax and you’ll get pregnant.” Sounds so simple. So why doesn’t it make us feel any better?

In WebMD's Trying to Conceive Community, Yvette Smith, MD, says that although this advice is usually well meant, it essentially blames the woman for not getting pregnant. It implies that worrying is what’s keeping her from getting pregnant and all she needs to do is relax. Not true.

For most women, stress does not have a long-term affect on fertility, Smith says. Stress may temporarily affect menstrual cycles and fertility in some women, but most likely only in the short run. 

Smith points out that it’s not only others who may inadvertently blame women for not getting pregnant. We women do it to ourselves as well. Everyone is looking for answers for unexplained infertility, she says, even if it means blaming ourselves.

Do you feel that stress may be keeping you from getting pregnant?

Discussion led by Yvette Smith, MD, MPH Guest Expert
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Hyacinth Nicole Browne, MD, is a board certified OB/GYN and Assoc. Medical Director at Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Westchester, NY... More

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