Working as a teacher makes it easier for women to become pregnant by IVF, a study shows.

Teachers were six times more likely than comparable occupations to conceive because their long summer holidays mean they are less stressed and freer to attend appointments.

But female bankers were 60 per cent less likely to become pregnant than women of similar income and education, the researchers said.

Jacob Anderson, who co-founded the website Fertility IQ with his wife Deborah, collected information from 1,123 respondents who had had fertility treatment.

In findings to be presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine congress in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mr Anderson says: ‘Patients who reported their occupation as teacher during the time of treatment recorded a six-fold higher likelihood of success, after controlling for variables like age, income, race and geographical location.

‘Patients who reported working in fields categorized as sales, marketing and public relations recorded a two-fold higher rate of success.’

But bankers and female software engineers had greater difficulty becoming pregnant. Mr Anderson told the Daily Mail that follow-up interviews with teachers showed that nearly all of them had their IVF cycle during the long summer school holiday.

This meant they were less stressed and freer for the appointments, which could otherwise be during work hours.

He said: ‘Most teachers think they have a very stressful job. But they have the summer vacation off to undergo IVF cycles, they can make appointments, get everything done, at a time when their stress levels go right down.’

He said that in the US the exception was teachers who worked in Catholic schools, where they may have to keep quiet about having IVF because it is not approved by the Catholic Church.

Bankers fared badly because in the ‘traditionally male-dominated’ profession it was difficult to get time off work for IVF appointments. This was despite many banks offering lavish financial support for fertility treatment.

Mr Anderson said: ‘What these women [bankers] tell us is they are leading a double life – they are not allowed out to go to appointments for fertility treatment.

‘This is a very fragile process – if you are hours too early, or hours too late, the IVF procedure may not work.’ In addition, high levels of stress produce a hormone, cortisol, that has been shown to have a negative impact on fertility.

Sales people – many of whom worked out of the office and were able to set their own schedules – were also more successful at becoming pregnant.

The difficulties of bankers becoming pregnant went against a trend where higher household income generally meant women having IVF were more successful.

Patients enjoying a joint household income of more than $99,000 (£81,000) were 80 per cent more likely to succeed at becoming pregnant than those earning less.

In conclusion, the authors write: ‘Patients working in the fields of education, sales, marketing and public relations may benefit in ways patients employed in other categories do not.’

Women with a bachelors degree were more likely than those without to become pregnant. But further degrees such as masters or PhDs did not increase the chances.


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