Stress can have many effects on the body, including on fertility. Stress can affect the pituitary gland which can slow the release of the luteinizing hormone which triggers ovulation. A shortage of luteinizing hormone can also lead to a lower level of progesterone, a hormone necessary to nourish and sustain an embryo's implantation and early development. However, researchers from Emory University in the U.S. have shown that psychotherapy can reduce stress-related infertility. The study of 16 women divided them into two groups, one receiving cognitive behaviour therapy and relaxation techniques, the other receiving no treatment. Six of the eight women in the CBT/relaxation group regained full fertility, compared to only one in the other group, and two of them became pregnant within two months.
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