Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: Evidence in support of relaxation

Germaine M. Buck Louis, Kirsten J. Lum, Rajeshwari Sundaram, Zhen Chen, Sungduk Kim, Courtney D. Lynch, Enrique F. Schisterman, Cecilia Pyper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To assess salivary stress biomarkers (cortisol and α-amylase) and female fecundity. Design: Prospective cohort design. Setting: United Kingdom. Patient(s): 274 women aged 18 to 40 years who were attempting pregnancy. Intervention(s): Observation for six cycles or until pregnancy: women collected basal saliva samples on day 6 of each cycle, and used fertility monitors to identify ovulation and pregnancy test kits for pregnancy detection. Main Outcome Measure(s): Salivary cortisol (μg/dL) and α-amylase (U/mL) concentration measurements; fecundity measured by time-to-pregnancy and the probability of pregnancy during the fertile window as estimated from discrete-time survival and Bayesian modeling techniques, respectively. Result(s): Alpha-amylase but not cortisol concentrations were negatively associated with fecundity in the first cycle (fecundity odds ratio = 0.85; 95% confidence interval 0.67, 1.09) after adjusting for the couples' ages, intercourse frequency, and alcohol consumption. Statistically significant reductions in the probability of conception across the fertile window during the first cycle attempting pregnancy were observed for women whose salivary concentrations of α-amylase were in the upper quartiles in comparison with women in the lower quartiles (highest posterior density: -0.284; 95% interval -0.540, -0.029). Conclusion(s): Stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window, possibly exerting its effect through the sympathetic medullar pathway.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages2184-2189
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Volume95
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Fertility
alpha-Amylases
Pregnancy
Hydrocortisone
Salivary alpha-Amylases
Time-to-Pregnancy
Pregnancy Tests
Ovulation
Saliva
Alcohol Drinking
Biomarkers
Odds Ratio
Observation
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Confidence Intervals
Survival

Keywords

  • Alpha amylase
  • conception
  • cortisol
  • fecundity
  • fertile window
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

Cite this

Buck Louis, G. M., Lum, K. J., Sundaram, R., Chen, Z., Kim, S., Lynch, C. D., ... Pyper, C. (2011). Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: Evidence in support of relaxation. Fertility and Sterility, 95(7), 2184-2189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.06.078

Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window : Evidence in support of relaxation. / Buck Louis, Germaine M.; Lum, Kirsten J.; Sundaram, Rajeshwari; Chen, Zhen; Kim, Sungduk; Lynch, Courtney D.; Schisterman, Enrique F.; Pyper, Cecilia.

In: Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 95, No. 7, 06.2011, p. 2184-2189.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Buck Louis, GM, Lum, KJ, Sundaram, R, Chen, Z, Kim, S, Lynch, CD, Schisterman, EF & Pyper, C 2011, 'Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: Evidence in support of relaxation', Fertility and Sterility, vol. 95, no. 7, pp. 2184-2189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.06.078
Buck Louis, Germaine M. ; Lum, Kirsten J. ; Sundaram, Rajeshwari ; Chen, Zhen ; Kim, Sungduk ; Lynch, Courtney D. ; Schisterman, Enrique F. ; Pyper, Cecilia. / Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window : Evidence in support of relaxation. In: Fertility and Sterility. 2011 ; Vol. 95, No. 7. pp. 2184-2189.
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