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Don't worry, stress won't hurt your IVF treatment: Study

Tell a woman who is undergoing fertility treatment that it might help her chances of getting pregnant to "just relax" and you may find yourself at the receiving end of an icy stare.

If she's heard about new fertility research this week, you may also get an earful about how there's no connection between stress and failed fertility treatments, thank you very much.

A new review, published in the online version of the British Medical Journal, looked at 14 studies completed in the last 25 years, with a total of about 3,585 infertile women who underwent a cycle of fertility treatment.

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The review considered only those that rated emotional distress before treatment, and compared the rates in women who did and did not become pregnant afterward, according to a summary in the New York Times.

In the paper, the researchers say their meta-analysis should "reassure women and doctors that emotional distress caused by fertility problems or other life events co-occurring with treatment will not compromise the chance of becoming pregnant."

How big a role do you think stress plays in pregnancy? And where does this news leave such practices as fertility yoga, acupuncture and mediation?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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