7 stress-related factors that can make it harder to get pregnant

If planned sex is causing problems in the bedroom, it might help to stop trying to time sex for ovulation. Photo: Pexels

(Rachel Gurevich/ Very Well Family) — If you or someone you know is trying to get pregnant, you may have heard well-meaning advice like, “Just relax, and it will happen!” But the truth is a bit more complex.

Whether stress itself can make getting pregnant difficult is still a matter of debate. What is definitively known, however, is that there are stress-related factors that can make it harder to conceive.

There have been studies that link stress to lowered fertility, but there is also research that suggests otherwise. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states, “Even though infertility is very stressful, there isn’t any proof that stress causes infertility.” And in the case of moderate stress, a 2019 study noted no negative effect for women who were trying to conceive.2

Even so, other studies demonstrate the opposite effect. A 2018 study by the Boston University School of Public Health, for example, found that women who had high levels of perceived stress experienced lower levels of fertility than those with less stress.3 Researchers also observed that in situations where one partner was significantly more stressed than the other, there was a lowered chance of conception. (…)