New study reveals stress is more likely to impact a woman's fertility rate than a man's - what we can do to keep those levels down

Taking time out is a good way to reduce your stress levels
Taking time out is a good way to reduce your stress levels

According to Science Daily, around "20-25 percent of women and 18-20 percent of men who are of reproductive age report daily psychological stress".

Now we all know that stress is not good for anyone and research led by Boston University School of Public Health reveals that stress levels have a greater impact on a woman's conception than a man's. The study was published on American Journal of Epidemiology.

READ MORE: Is there a difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks?

The researchers based the study on 4 769 women aged 21 to 45 years and 1 272 men age 21 and over who had no history of infertility and had not been trying to conceive for more than six menstrual cycles.

They used a 10-item version of the perceived stress scale which was designed to assess how unpredictable, uncontrollable and overwhelming an individual finds their life circumstances. Individuals were given five responses to choose from, ranging from 0 (never) to 5 (very often). A higher total score indicates a higher level of perceived stress.

READ MORE: How to spot the signs and help a friend who's battling with mental health issues

On average the score for women was 1 point more than men. This remained fairly consistent during the 12-month study.

The researchers found that women with a PSS score of 25 and above were 13 percent less likely to conceive than women with PSS scores below 10 percent. They did not find any real association between PSS scores and male fertility.

Here are some ways you can take a load off.

READ MORE: Could universities be fuelling mental health issues?

Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise

It's never a good idea trying to deal with a million things all at once. Which is why practising good time management is essential. According to this MindTools article, perfecting your time management skills will save you a lot of time, give you a greater productivity rate and most importantly decrease your stress levels.

Clean up your home and work space

Many women find comfort in a clean space and I am one of them. Not only does a clean space contribute to a sound mind and clean home/office, but according to Very Well Mind, doing a bit of cleaning can also alleviate stress.

READ MORE: Apparently women aren’t better at multitasking – why that’s a good thing

Stop procrastinating

Procrastination is linked very closely to poor time management and leads to similar problems when it happens in our lives. Putting stuff off for a later date or time more often than not results in a pile up of things that need to be done all in one go- the result? super high levels of stress.

According to Jason DeMers, a guest writer on Economics, the stress linked to procrastination even comes with high risks of cardiovascular disease.

Try meditation

It isn't always easy to find yourself saying "whoosah" in the middle of a work crisis or when you're knees deep in a financial rut, but according to this Mayo Clinic article, taking some time once a day or week to meditate can work to bring down your stress levels gradually and also restore peace and calm to your body and mind.

READ MORE: "I was the weird person on the Gautrain bus, eyes closed with my hands on my lap, meditating"

Surround yourself with positive energy

Having people who are optimistic and more helpful can do wonders to your mental health. Negative energy and people who continuously complain are believe it or not are contributing to your high levels of stress. according to this Bustle article , toxic relationships can result in a number of health complications, stress included.

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
22% - 705 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 288 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
50% - 1595 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 42 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 569 votes