Stress may be a factor in the reduced fertility of women with long menstrual cycles, according to Danish researchers reporting in the July issue of Fertility and Sterility. The researchers investigated the effects of psychological stress on the length of time it took to conceive for 430 Danish couples planning their first pregnancy.
The six-month study revealed a connection between women with long menstrual cycles and reduced fertility or increased length of time to pregnancy. In the same issue of Fertility and Sterility, a research team reports the development of the Fertility Problem Inventory (FPI) to help measure perceived infertility-related stress.
Patients were asked to complete a written questionnaire addressing five main areas of infertility patient concern: social, sexual, relationship, the need for parenthood and the rejection of a childfree lifestyle. The results were then combined into a global stress category. Although infertility stress differed depending on gender, fertility history and infertility diagnosis, the primary contributors to infertility stress were social, sexual and relationship concerns.