Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 167–177 | Cite as

Female infertility, infertility-associated diagnoses, and comorbidities: a review

  • Brent HansonEmail author
  • Erica Johnstone
  • Jessie Dorais
  • Bob Silver
  • C. Matthew Peterson
  • James Hotaling
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



The purpose of the study is to evaluate existing literature for possible associations between female infertility, infertility-associated diagnoses, and the following areas of disease: psychiatric disorders, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic dysfunction.


The design of the study is a literature review. The patients were women included in 26 selected studies due to a diagnosis of infertility or a reproductive disorder associated with infertility. This study has no interventions, and the main outcome measure is the association between female infertility or a related diagnosis and psychiatric disorders, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic dysfunction.


Female infertility and related reproductive disorders may have ramifications for women beyond reproductive health. An analysis of publications shows that women with infertility had higher rates of psychiatric disorders and endometrial cancer than the general population [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Data is conflicting about whether infertile women are at increased risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer [7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]. A generalized diagnosis of infertility was not clearly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or metabolic dysfunction, but women with infertility related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) do appear more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders such as diabetes than the general population [16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26].


Female infertility and associated diagnoses have overall health implications. Beyond treatment of patients’ immediate reproductive needs, healthcare professionals must be aware of the broader health impact of specific causes of infertility in order to provide accurate counseling regarding long-term risk.


Infertility In vitro fertilization Malignancy Somatic health Fertility drugs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and InfertilityUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Utah Center for Reproductive MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of Surgery - UrologyUniversity of Utah Center for Reconstructive Urology and Men’s HealthSalt Lake CityUSA

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