I was asked by one of the yogis this week if it helped to practice yoga while trying to concieve and during pregnancy and whether it effected you if you were stressed.
Stressed-out women are 12% less likely to become pregnant during their fertile time, Oxford University scientists have said after testing the advice to women to relax when trying for a baby.
They carried out saliva tests on 274 women and analysed levels of the stress hormone cortisol and the enzyme alpha-amylase, an indicator of adrenalin levels.
All the women were aged between 18 and 40 and were trying for a baby naturally. Researchers carried out the tests on day six of each woman’s menstrual cycle for six cycles or until the woman fell pregnant. They used fertility monitors to identify ovulation and confirmed the pregnancies with testing kits.
The study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found no effect from cortisol on the chances of falling pregnant. But women in the group with the highest levels of alpha-amylase had a 12% lower chance of falling pregnant for each day of their most fertile days than those with the lowest levels of alpha-amylase.
The authors concluded: “Stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window.”
This is the first study to find that a biological measure of stress is associated with a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant that month. We found that those women with high levels of a marker for stress were less likely to succeed in conceiving.
“The findings support the idea that couples should aim to stay as relaxed as they can about trying for a baby. In some people’s cases, it might be relevant to look at relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.
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