Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research shows no link between stress and chances of IVF success

25.08.2005


New research from Sweden has shown that psychological stress does not appear to influence the outcome of IVF – good news for women who fear that the understandable anxiety that they suffer during fertility treatment might damage their chances of conceiving.



"This means that we can use these findings to reassure women and this information should, in itself, help to reduce their stress and worry levels," said lead author Dr Lisbeth Anderheim whose team’s research is reported today (Thursday 25 August) in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction[1].

Past research on the effect of psychological stress on IVF success has been conflicting, with some studies finding an association and others not. But, support for a causal link between stress and IVF results was often weak, according to Dr Anderheim, midwife and PhD student at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg (Gothenburg).


The new research has the strength of being prospective and therefore does not rely on answers given after the patients found out whether their treatment was successful. A month before treatment 166 women answered extensive questionnaires evaluating their well-being. These covered a wide range of emotions, their general health, their relationship with their partner, their lifestyle and outlook on life and the intensity of their desire for children. A second questionnaire timed just before their eggs were retrieved was answered by 151 of the women. A total of 139 women had embryos available for transfer – 58 conceived and 81 did not.

The results of the pre-treatment questionnaire showed no difference between those who became pregnant and those who didn’t. The questionnaire was a proven method for measuring well-being – the Psychological General Well-Being (PGWB) index. The patients’ scores were in line with Swedish reference values, reflecting the fact that the women were in good psychological health at the start of treatment. There was also no significant difference between the two groups on an additional test designed specifically to assess 14 emotions[2] often expressed by infertility patients.

The analysis of the second questionnaire answered just before egg retrieval again showed no difference between those who conceived and those who didn’t.

"The only variable that was significantly associated with pregnancy was the number of good quality embryos transferred,’ said Dr Anderheim.

Dr Anderheim said the good psychological well-being of the patients prior to treatment was somewhat unexpected and did not correspond with earlier clinical impressions. So, it was possible that the patients were keeping their worries to themselves because they had great expectations and were giving answers that were more positive than they felt. Neither could the researchers totally rule out that the lack of a link between stress and outcome might have been due to lack of sensitivity in the methods used, although the PGWB method was proven to be valid and reliable and the other questionnaire used had been devised specially for the study to pick up aspects of stress identified among infertility patients.

She said the timing of the first questionnaire was chosen because they wanted to study the women’s psychological status before treatment. The timing of the second just prior to egg retrieval was chosen because patients often express anxiety and stress at that point. It may, she conceded, have been valuable also to have questioned patients at the point the embryos were transferred, which is known to be a time of heightened tension.

However, the fact that it was impossible to establish a link in a prospective study between stress and the chances of conceiving via IVF was encouraging.

"During IVF treatment patients frequently ask about the relationship between psychological stress and outcome and often express worries that their own stress might have a negative influence, so the fact that our prospective study did not indicate any relationship is reassuring. This is a positive message we can give our patients to help decrease their stress at this time." Dr Anderheim concluded.

[1] Does psychological stress affect the outcome of in vitro fertilization? Human Reproduction. doi: 10.1094/humrep/dei219.

[2] The 14 responses to infertility tested were: guilt, success, anger, contentment, frustration, happiness, isolation, confidence, anxiety, satisfaction, depression, powerlessness, competence, control.

Margaret Willson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.eshre.com
http://www.oxfordjournals.org/eshre/press-release/aug.05.pdf
http://www.oxfordjournals.org/eshre

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>