Just relax, it won’t happen

positive pregnancy test“Just relax, it’ll happen”. When the geekdaddy and I were trying to conceive we heard that phrase a number of times. Any time we mentioned our struggles, invariably someone had an uncle’s sister’s cousin’s niece who couldn’t get pregnant until she gave up work/adopted/had a nice holiday, when her hitherto dormant ovaries finally kicked into action.

It’s one of the least helpful pieces of advice you can give. If you’re feeling stressed anyway (and trust me, if you want to have children, the thought that you might never succeed is pretty stressful all on its on, never mind all the hormone-adjusting treatments you end up going through), having someone to tell you you need to relax is just going to make you more stressed about how stressed you are.

The reason we named our podcast Just Relax it’ll Happen was for the irony of it. We didn’t believe that any amount of relaxing was going to sort out my luteal phase or the geekdaddy’s sperm count. In the end it was modern medicine that gave us our two beautiful children, and I am eternally grateful for that.

So I expect infertile and sub-fertile couples everywhere are rejoicing with the latest news that fertility treatment success is not prevented by stress. Researchers from Cardiff University have reviewed 14 previous studies involving 3,583 women, and their results showed that stress had no impact on whether any of those woman became pregnant or not. Women who were stressed became pregnant at the same rates as those who were not.

Thankfully we’re past the “trying” stage now, but I hope this information will prove useful for those of you still working to build your family.


  1. says

    I must admit this surprised me. I would have thought stress, raised adrenaline and cortisol, would put the body off the further ‘stress’ of a pregnancy. But perhaps there is a difference between couples for whom lifestyle changes can result in a pregnancy and those who will always need medical intervention to conceive. The study only looked at women having fertility treatment after all.
    Oh, and cool new feature on the Clearblue! They used to say only pregnant and not pregnant when I last bought one.

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