Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 445–448 | Cite as

A Study on Psychological Strain in IVF Patients



Purpose: The objectives of this study were to compareaverage stress levels in infertile women to fertile women, todetermine the stress levels whether the patients was pregnantor not pregnant, and to examine for a cross-section ofinfertile patients in different stages of medical investigation forthe infertility.

Methods: One hundred thirty-eight women receivingmedical treatment for infertility attended the program. The StateTrait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Beck DepressionInventory (BDI) of perceived stress associated with theinfertility was the outcome measure.

Results: Infertile women showed significant increases intrait anxiety and depressive symptoms than the fertilewomen. Anxiety and depression in the in vitro fertilization(IVF)-failed women were significantly higher than theIVF-success women. According to the duration of infertility, STAIand BDI were moderately elevated in the first stage(< 3 year). There was a trend of a decreasing psychological stresswith an advanced infertility duration. On depression scales,the intermediate and final duration of infertility patientsshowed less symptomatology than the first-stage patients.Contrary to the expectation, demographic factors such asreligion and husband cooperation were not related to theexperience of stress.

Conclusions: We must pay an attention to the infertilepatient, especially from the initial infertility workup. Werecommend psychological counselling for IVF-failedpatients.

Psychological stress infertile women 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    O'Moore AM, O'Moore RR, Harrison RF, Murphy G, Garruthers ME: Psychosomatic aspects in idiopathic infertility: Effects of treatment with autogenic training. J Psychosom Res 1983;27:145-151Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baram D, Tourtelot E, Muechier E, Huang KE: Psychosocial adjustment following unsuccessful in vitro fertilization. J Psychosome Obstet Gynecol 1988;9:181-190Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mahlstedt PP, MacDuff S, Bernstein J: Emotional factors and the in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer process. J In Vitro Fertil Embryo Transfer 1987;4:232-236Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Berg BJ, Wilson JF: Psychological functioning across stages of treatment for infertility. J Behav Med 1991;14:11-26Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mahlstedt PP: Psychological issues of infertility and assisted reproductive technology. Urol Clin N Am 1994;21:557-566Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Harlow CR, Fahy UM, Talbot WM, Wardle PG, Hull MG: Stress and stress-related hormones during in-vitro fertilization treatment. Hum Reprod 1996;11:274-279Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sanders KA, Bruce NW. A prospective study of psychological stress and fertility in women. Hum Reprod 1997;12:2324-2329Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kopitzke EJ, Berg BJ, Wilson JF, Owens D: Physical and emotional stress associated with components of the infertility investigation: Perspectives of professionals and patients. Fertil Steril 1991;55:1137-1143Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Newton CR, Hearn MT, Yuzpe AA: Psychological assessment and follow-up after in vitro fertilization: Assessing the impact of failure. Fertil Steril 1990;54:879-886Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Boivin J, Takefman JE: Impact of the in-vitro fertilization process on emotional physical and relational variables. Hum Reprod 1996:11:903-907Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, College of MedicineChung-Ang UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryChung-Ang University HospitalSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of MedicineChung-Ang UniversitySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations