Prenatal stress reduces fertility and fecundity in female offspring

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Nov 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4422, pp. 1097-1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.573923


Female rats subjected to prenatal stress later experienced fewer conceptions, more spontaneous abortions and vaginal hemorrhaging, longer pregnancies, and fewer viable young than nonstressed rats. The offspring of the prenatally stressed rats were lighter in weight and less likely to survive the neonatal period. Prenatal stress may influence the balance of adrenal and gonadal hormones during a critical stage of fetal hypothalamic differentiation, thereby producing a variety of reproductive dysfunctions in adulthood.

Stay Connected to Science