London - Women are struggling to become pregnant because they are chasing "masculine" work goals, a fertility expert has claimed.
Fiona Kacz-Boulton said being the breadwinner or pursuing a career could have a harmful biological effect on women’s ability to conceive, in a speech at London’s Fertility Show on Sunday.
The "natural fertility" expert said that these women have often achieved all their ambitions but are unable to have a baby.
The non-medical specialist gave the example of a teacher who was head of her department, with a self-employed husband and significant financial pressure.
Mrs Kacz-Boulton said: "She was the one that had the steady income and she was the one wearing the pants in their relationship – and that affects female fertility.
"It is because you are acting masculine and expecting your body to perform in a feminine way."
A fertility conference heard last year that female bankers are 60 percent less likely to become pregnant through fertility treatment than their peers. Stress and a lack of time for appointments were said to play a part.
Mrs Katz-Boulton said: "Women are now out working just as much as men are in this very masculine state, but then we are expecting our body to be in the feminine state, which is about opening and surrendering."
The founder of firm Awakening Fertility, who claims to have an 80 percent success rate when helping her clients conceive, tells women to consider changing jobs.
She believes the stress of "masculine" work goals activates the parasympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for the body’s "fight or flight" response.
Experts agree that stress affects fertility, possibly by reducing blood flow in the fallopian tubes.
Professor Geeta Nargund, medical director of Create Fertility, said: "It’s possible that women in a high-pressure environment may be more stressed, which can adversely affect their chances of conceiving. But the main thing is to maintain a healthy lifestyle."