published Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Ask a Doctor

Q: Does stress cause infertility?

A: This commonly held belief is rarely true. People think stress causes infertility because people suffering from infertility are generally distressed, and also because sometimes after people adopt a child or quit trying to get pregnant, they finally conceive. While many patients suffering from infertility do worry about it, there is no evidence stress causes infertility. There is also no evidence people are more fertile after adoption or if they “quit trying.” Only in rare cases of extreme physical stress, such as excessive exercise, does stress cause a woman to stop producing eggs.

— Dr. Ringland “Rink” S. Murray, Tennessee

Reproductive Medicine; member,

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at See this space each week for answers.

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