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Study: Job stress affects women's chances of conception

April 17, 2009 12:30 IST

Does a working woman sacrifice too much for the sake of her career? Does her family life bear the brunt of her ambition? If a recent study on women in high-powered jobs is anything to go by, the answer is yes.

According to a report carried on website, a study published in the journal Current Anthropology suggests that women who have demanding or stressful jobs, are effectively reducing their chances of concieving.

Professor Elizabeth Cashdan, University of Utah (US), monitored women's waist to hip ratios (WHR) and found that those in high-powered jobs had higher ratios than those who did not. A higher WHR means slimmer waists and hips in contrast to lower WHRs, which would mean wider hips and thus better chances of bearing a child.

Apparently, these women experienced a hormonal shift thanks to the high-stress environment and thus produced less of the female hormone estrogen and more androgens (which includes the male hormone testosterone) -- resulting in smaller hips.

So does that mean that career-oriented women are effectively slashing their chances of having a baby?

As the age-old argument rages on about career versus family, does it really have to be one or the other?

Are the long hours at work taking a toll on your chances of having a child?

Given a choice, would you take up a less stressful job to improve your chances of starting a family?

Tell us what you think -- post your comments, experiences and opinions in this regard on the messageboard below.