Are increased levels of self-reported psychosocial stress, anxiety, and depression associated with fecundity?

Capsule:
Self-reported psychosocial stress, anxiety, and depression were not associated with fecundity. Any adverse effect of stress or psychological disturbance does not appear to be detectable via the questionnaires administered.

Authors:
Courtney D. Lynch, Ph.D., M.P.H., Rajeshwari Sundaram, Ph.D., Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., M.S., Kirsten J. Lum, M.S.E., Cecilia Pyper, M.B.B.S.

Volume 98, Issue 2 , Pages 453-458, August 2012

Abstract:

Objective:
To assess the association between self-reported measures of stress, anxiety, depression, and related constructs and fecundity.

Design:
Prospective cohort study of women trying to conceive.

Setting:
United Kingdom.

Patient(s):
Three hundred thirty-nine women aged 18–40 years who were attempting to conceive.

Intervention(s):
Completed daily diaries for up to six cycles or until pregnancy was detected. For each cycle, stress biomarkers were measured and psychosocial questionnaires were completed.

Main Outcome Measures(s):
Fecundability odds ratios (FORs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using discrete time survival methods, and the day-specific probabilities of pregnancy were calculated using Bayesian statistical techniques.

Result(s):
Among the 339 women, 207 (61%) became pregnant during the study, 69 (20%) did not become pregnant, and 63 (19%) withdrew. After controlling for maternal age, parity, months trying to conceive before enrollment, smoking, caffeine use, and frequency of intercourse, we found no association between most psychosocial measures and FORs or the day-specific probabilities of pregnancy save for an increased FOR for women reporting higher versus lower levels of social support.

Conclusion(s):
Self-reported psychosocial stress, anxiety, and depression were not associated with fecundity. Any adverse effect of stress or psychological disturbance on fecundity does not appear to be detectable via the questionnaires administered.

  • This is great information. I appreciate the sincere appreciation.Thank you.

  • laurenroth

    It is intriguing that there was no correlation between psychosocial instrument scores and stress biomarkers. Do you think this is because the instruments OR the biomarkers are not good at assessing stress?

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