Stress doesn't ruin the dream of motherhood for women undergoing IVF treatment, says a new report published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The researchers, from Cardiff University, reviewed the stress levels of 3,583 women taken from 14 previous studies. In the studies, women had their stress levels assessed before beginning treatment and then underwent a single cycle of assisted reproductive therapy.

The researchers concluded that stress had no impact as women who were stressed before IVF treatment started became pregnant at the same rate as those who were not.

Lead researcher Professor Jacky Boivin said: "There are a lot of myths around how women get pregnant.

"Women having fertility treatment who do not get pregnant early on often blame themselves for getting too stressed out and the longer they remain not pregnant the more stressed they get."

Claire Lewis-Jones, chief executive of the charity Infertility Network UK, said the report was encouraging, but agreed it was important not to ignore stress.

"While stress may not impact on the success of treatment, clinics should ensure they make every effort to support their patients emotional [as well as] practical needs."

Posted by Penny Hosie on 25.2.11
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