These US and UK investigators assessed the association between salivary stress biomarkers (cortisol and alpha-amylase) and female fecundity in a prospective cohort study. They included 274 women aged 18 to 40 years who were attempting pregnancy. Women were observed for six cycles or until pregnancy. Women collected basal saliva samples on day 6 of each cycle, and used fertility monitors to identify ovulation and pregnancy test kits for pregnancy detection. They measured salivary cortisol (mcg/dL) and alpha- amylase (U/mL) concentration, time-to-pregnancy, and the probability of pregnancy during the fertile window.
They found: "Alpha-amylase but not cortisol concentrations were negatively associated with fecundity in the first cycle (fecundity odds ratio = 0.85) after adjusting for the couples' ages, intercourse frequency, and alcohol consumption. Statistically significant reductions in the probability of conception across the fertile window during the first cycle attempting pregnancy were observed for women whose salivary concentrations of alpha- amylase were in the upper quartiles in comparison with women in the lower quartiles."
The authors concluded: "Stress significantly reduced the probability of conception each day during the fertile window, possibly exerting its effect through the sympathetic medullar pathway."
Fuente: For the full abstract, click here.
Fertil Steril 95(7):2184-2189, June 2011 © 2011 to the American Society of Reproductive Endocrinology
Stress reduces conception probabilities across the fertile window: evidence in support of relaxation. Germaine M. Buck Louis, Kirsten J. Lum, Rajeshwari Sundaram, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Louis: firstname.lastname@example.org