Whether stress itself can make getting pregnant difficult is a matter of debate. The current thinking is that stress alone does not cause infertility. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states in their stress and infertility pamphlet, "Even though infertility is very stressful, there isn't any proof that stress causes infertility."
Extreme stress may affect fertility, but rarely in ways that would lead to long term trouble with getting pregnant. For example, you may have experienced a late period during an unusually stressful time. But that was just one period.
So if you've been told to "just relax, and it will happen," you should know that a vacation alone is not going to cure your infertility. (However, a vacation may lower your stress levels from dealing with the infertility itself! A mighty fine plan, if you ask me.)
When Stress Can Lead to Trouble Getting Pregnant
While stress alone does not seem to cause infertility, stress can push us toward unhealthy behaviors and un-baby-making-friendly lifestyles. These unhealthy behaviors can affect our fertility. For example, poor sleep habits, unhealthy eating (either too much, or too little), extreme exercise, drinking alcohol (even occasionally), smoking, and drinking too much coffee are all factors that can affect your fertility. Stress may also lead to a lower sex drive, and not having sex often enough can make getting pregnant tricky.
If you're feeling stressed, as most of us do, the most important thing you can do is try to choose healthier ways of dealing with the stress, and toss in the trash any unhealthy stress-reducing activities.
First up, let's look at sleep and fertility...