, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 87-92

Less depressed or less forthcoming? Self-report of depression symptoms in women preparing for in vitro fertilization

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Abstract

While depression has been associated with infertility treatments, it is not routinely assessed in women prior to undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Findings are mixed regarding the degree to which women report depression prior to IVF. The purpose of this study was to (1) examine response profiles in women preparing for IVF and (2) compare responses to those of postpartum, primary care, and general population groups. Female IVF patients (n = 321; 19–45 years) completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) at their first visit. Clinical and demographic characteristics and incidence of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other depressive disorders (ODD) were examined. Overall score distributions of the IVF group were compared to those of local postpartum patients and published primary care and general populations. Demographic or clinical characteristics did not account for response differences within the IVF group. The IVF group had lower incidences of MDD and ODD than a PHQ-9 normative group. Women in the IVF group reported no depressive symptoms significantly more than postpartum, primary care, and general population groups. Women preparing to undergo IVF report fewer symptoms of depression than multiple comparison groups. Specific quality of life measures may be needed to assess distress in this population.