The modern women with successful careers and high stress levels to match may be damaging their chances of having children, a study has found.
According to the research, which involved international comparison of women in 37 different populations and cultures, career women are more likely to have androgynous figures which indicate higher levels of androgens, as opposed to oestrogen, which is vital for conceiving successfully.
While women with more shapely figures have higher levels of oestrogen, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The study, which has been published in the recent issue of the journal Current Anthropology, reached its conclusion by examining the shape of women around the world by comparing their waist-to-hip ratio.
This ratio is calculated by dividing a woman's waist circumference by the circumference of her hips.
University of Utah anthropologist Professor Elizabeth Cashdan says there is evidence the hormonal profile linked to a slim-waisted, non-curvy shape favours women in "resource competition, particularly under stressful and difficult circumstances".
The findings claim that females who are driven to succeed suffer a hormonal shift with their oestrogen levels affected by increases of androgens, hormones linked to competitiveness and strength.
For a comparison, the study looked at the measurements of 240 Playboy centrefolds and found they had an average waist-to-hip ratio of 0.68.
The average female waist-to-hip ratio is 0.82.