Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

8-2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Epidemiology and Population Health

Committee Chair

Taylor, Kira C.

Committee Member

Kerber, Richard

Committee Member

Kong, Maiying

Subject

Stress (Physiology); Anxiety in women; Women--Psychology; Preconception care

Abstract

It has been commonly hypothesized (and widely believed) that maternal stress either prior to or during pregnancy can adversely affect fertility and pregnancy outcomes. However, surprisingly few epidemiologic studies have rigorously tested these hypotheses. The current study evaluated the effects of pre-conception self-reported stress on fecundability and spontaneous abortion. The study population was derived from the Mount Sinai Study of Woman Office Workers with 487 women included. Women recorded stress (scale from 1 to 4) and covariate information in a daily diary for 12 cycles or until pregnant. Results indicated a significantly increased risk of spontaneous abortion for women with higher levels of self-reported stress during the cycle of conception, and reduced fecundability when high stress occurred during the ovulatory window. This study reinforces the need for ameliorating stress in the aspiring and expecting mother. Future studies may examine effects of stress-related biomarkers and genetic polymorphisms on pregnancy outcomes.

Included in

Epidemiology Commons

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