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Science. 1979 Nov 30;206(4422):1097-9.

Prenatal stress reduces fertility and fecundity in female offspring.


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.

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