Many people who seek psychological services for infertility ask me whether I think there is a connection between stress level and ability to get pregnant with IVF. If you look at the current research on this topic, the answer is that we just don’t know. There are studies that say stress has little impact on IVF outcome and other research that supports the opposite. However, the link between clinical depression or anxiety (meaning the symptoms are severe enough to warrant an actual diagnosis) has been established. We know depression and anxiety can actually reduce pregnancy rates.
What we do know for sure is that IVF cycles can be extremely stressful and that the stress of IVF is the biggest reason why people stop IVF. Learning ways of dealing with the stress of IVF is very important and is among one of the reasons people seek the services of a psychologist specializing in infertility.