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High stress could be the reason why you can’t get pregnant

Pregnant women with stress headaches

A new study finds that stress can be associated with fertility problems in women.

Exposure to the sound of screaming is related to a lower number of eggs in an experiment on female rats.

About 1 in 8 couples or about 6.7 million Americans have problems with infertility. There are many possible causes of infertility. However, a new study suggests that stress may be a contributing factor to your infertility.

Other factors that can affect fertility in women

  • Age
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Athletic training
  • Being overweight
  • Being underweight
  • Health problems that cause hormonal changes

According to a study on small animals recently published in the journal Endocrine Society, Endocrinologyscreaming female rats may have decreased ovarian reserve and fertility.

The reproductive potential left in a woman’s two ovaries based on the quantity and quality of the eggs is called the ovarian reserve. A woman is born with a limited amount of eggs, and her body is unable to produce more. The loss of normal reproductive potential in the ovaries due to the reduced number or quality of the remaining eggs is called diminished ovarian reserve.

“We examined the effect of stress on the ovarian reserve using a screaming sound pattern in rats,” said Wenyan Xi, Ph.D., of Xi’an Jiao Tong University Second Affiliation Hospital in Xian, China. “We found that female rats exposed to the sound of screams reduced their ovarian reserve and decreased fertility.”

The researchers used a screaming model to investigate the effect of stress on the ovarian reserve in female rats. They exposed the female rats to a scream for 3 weeks and analyzed the effect on their sex hormones, the number and quality of their eggs and their ability to become pregnant and have children after mating.

They found that screams reduced estrogen and anti-Mullerian hormone levels in rats. Estrogen is a group of hormones that play a vital role in reproductive growth and development, while anti-mullerian hormone is a hormone produced by the ovaries that helps form the reproductive organs. The sound of screams also reduced the quantity and quality of women’s eggs, leading to a smaller bedding.

“Based on these findings, we suggest that stress may be associated with reduced ovarian reserve,” Xi said. “It is important to determine an association between chronic stress and ovarian reserve, as this can extend our appreciation of the limitations of current clinical interventions and provide a valuable insight into the cause of decreased ovarian reserve.”

Reference: “Scream Sound-induced Chronic Psychological Stress Results in Diminushed Ovarian Reserve in Adult Female Rat” by Wenyan Xi, Hui Mao, Zhiwei Cui, Haoyan Yao, Ruiting Shi and Yane Gao, May 10, 2022, Endocrinology.
DOI: 10.1210 / endocr / bqac042

Other authors of this study include Hui Mao, Haoyan Yao, Ruiting Shi from Xi’an Jiao Tong University Second Affiliate Hospital, and Zhiwei Cui from Xi’an Jiao Tong University First Affiliate Hospital in Xian, China.

The study received funding from the Natural Sciences Foundation of the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Education.

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