Almost 70 studies have examined the relationship between stress and the IVF success rates. 51 studies so far have documented that stress negatively impacts conception. A recent study shows that women who experience high levels of anxiety and depression prior to IVF treatment are 93% less likely to conceive than those who are less distressed. These 2017 IVF Retreats have been designed to maximize and compliment the efficacy of assisted reproductive therapies. Please find below a list of scientific articles from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford Universities with a summary of their findings, conclusions, and recommendations for relaxation, cognitive restructuring, Mind Body Soul Programs, coaching, and counselling . Furthermore, I am sharing several journal publications from reputable journals with High-Impact Factors that document the emotional support couples need during IVF treatments, Pregnancy, and Post-Partum. The articles can be retrieved from EBSCO and SAGE databases.
"The inability to conceive children is experienced as a stressful situation by individuals and couples all around the world. The consequences of infertility are manifold and can include societal repercussions and personal suffering. Advances in assisted reproductive technologies, such as IVF, can offer hope to many couples where treatment is available, although barriers exist in terms of medical coverage and affordability. The medicalization of infertility has unwittingly led to a disregard for the emotional responses that couples experience, which include distress, loss of control, stigmatization, and a disruption in the developmental trajectory of adulthood. Evidence is emerging of an association between stress of fertility treatment and patient drop-out and pregnancy rates. Fortunately, psychological interventions, especially those emphasizing stress management and coping-skills training, have been shown to have beneficial effects for infertility patients" (Domar et al., Psychological impact of infertility, In Psychological Issues in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2007 21(2):293-308, Elsevier Ltd).
A smiliar article is available at the open source below through Harvard University School of Medicine, 2009.
"Women with lower stress and anxiety levels on the day prior to oocyte retrieval had a higher pregnancy rate. These results emphasize the need to investigate stress reduction modalities throughout the IVF cycle" (Westphal, L. M. et al., Stress and Anxiety Scores in First and Repeat IVF Cycles: A Pilot Study, PLOS One Journal, May 2013, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p1-6).
"The non-pregnant women reported higher anxiety and depression scores at the pregnancy detection day compared with the pregnant group. Lower levels of norepinephrine and cortisol at the time of oocyte retrieval and lower levels of cortisol at the time of pregnancy test were found in women with successful treatment. Significant increases in serum norepinephrine and cortisol values were observed during ovarian stimulation. State Anxiety scores were negatively correlated with live birth rate, and positively associated with serum norepinephrine and cortisol values.
Conclusions: State anxiety is associated with both pregnancy rate and live birth rate in IVF patients", Relationship between psychological stress and reproductive outcome in women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment: psychological and neurohormonal assessment, Journal Of Assisted Reproduction And Genetics, Jan 2013 ; Vol. 30 (1), pp. 35-41.
Women and men diagnosed with infertility experience a variety of infertility-related stressors, including changes to their family and social networks, strain on their sexual relationship, and difficulties and unexpected challenges in their relationship. Infertility stress is linked with depression and psychological distress, and can lead to premature dropout from medical treatments and unresolved feelings of loss and grief. The current study examined the effectiveness of treating infertility stress using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a promising new behavior therapy that targets experiential avoidance through mindfulness, acceptance strategies, and value-directed action. This single-case study followed a couple experiencing infertility-related stress following a failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. The couple completed 6 self-report measures at 7 time points, including a second failed IVF attempt and a 1-year follow-up. Measures included both distress-focused instruments and therapy process-related questionnaires. The female participant reported higher pretreatment stress and depression scores compared to her partner. She reported significant decreases in global infertility stress, social infertility stress, sexual infertility stress, psychological distress, and depression from pre-therapy to 1-year follow-up. She also reported a decrease in infertility stress following her second failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempt. The male participant reported significant decreases in sexual infertility stress. The study suggests that acceptance-based therapy shows promise in treating infertility stress in patients experiencing infertility who undergo medical treatments. The data from this preliminary case study also suggest that ACT may be helpful for couples following IVF treatment failure. Treatment gains were maintained 1-year post therapy, indicating that an ACT approach to treating infertility has the potential to produce lasting change (Peterson et al., Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, Vol 18(4), Nov. 2011. pp. 577-587)
"A number of medical studies suggest that a change in psychological well-being can lead to an increase in fertility success. By participating in programs that teach relaxation and cognitive restructuring, women experiencing depressive symptoms greatly improve their chances of conception . Severely depressed women who participated in a cognitive-behavior group program for 10 sessions that was designed to lower depression and anxiety experienced a 60% viable pregnancy rate within 6 months" (Domar et al., Psychological Interventions and Pregnancy Rates, Vol. 73, No. 4, April 2000).