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OD Research - Reproductive Epidemiology
Impact of Physiologic and Perceived Psychosocial Stress on Time to Pregnancy
Previous research has suggested an association between stress and infertility, though little research has focused on conceptions delays or pregnancy loss. In collaboration with investigators from the Oxford Conception Study, a prospective follow up of a subgroup of participating women provided saliva samples on day 6 of each cycle while attempting pregnancy for measurement of two biomarkers: cortisol and alpha amylase. Salivary concentrations of stress biomarkers were analyzed in relation to female fecundity as measured by time-to-pregnancy and risk of pregnancy loss. We found evidence that alpha amylase was negatively associated with time-to-pregnancy but not pregnancy loss. No association was observed for salivary cortisol. There are the first findings to empirically support a relation between stress, possibly as mediated via the sympathetic pathway as measured by alpha amylase, and female fecundity.
Germaine Louis, Ph.D., M.S.
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