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Stress management improves IVF success

[Posted: Wed 21/10/2009 by Olivia Fens]

Women who participate in stress management programmes prior to or during IVF (in vitro fertilisation) have a greater chance of pregnancy, a new study has found.

According to the study, more than half of the women (52%) who participated in the stress management programme fell pregnant, compared to 20% of the women who did not complete the course.

Furthermore, pregnancy rates jumped to 67% for women with signs of depression at the start of the study who engaged in the stress management programme.

The programme was designed to educate women on the utilisation of cognitive, relaxation and lifestyle techniques to manage stress.

The researchers said: “Reproductive health experts have long wondered about the impact that stress may have on fertility, thus impeding a woman’s ability to conceive.

“This study shows that stress management may improve pregnancy rates, minimising the stress of fertility management itself, improving the success rates of IVF procedures, and ultimately, helping to alleviate the emotional burden for women who are facing challenges trying to conceive.”

The study was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's 65th Annual Meeting.

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