This study aims to evaluate levels of anxiety and depression in women, correlated with infertility per se and with infertility treatments, highlighting predictors of higher levels of distress.
Two validated standardized questionnaires, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Fertility Quality of Life (FertiQoL), were administered to 89 women both before their first cycle of infertility treatment and again at the end of the ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Women’s levels of anxiety were significantly higher before the treatment than during the treatment itself. Stratifying the women in three groups based on principal cause of infertility (male infertility, female infertility, or both male and female), we found significantly higher levels of anxiety and general distress in patients under treatment for female infertility. Higher anxiety levels in our sample before the treatment are probably an effect of not knowing what they are expected to do to solve their problem.
Moreover, when the cause of infertility is exclusively female, women experience higher levels of anxiety and general distress both before and during the treatment, probably correlated to a sense of guilt. These data help the treating physician to better counsel patients and to provide a more focused psychological support.
Claudia Massarotti ORCID Icon, Giulia Gentile, Chiara Ferreccio, Paola Scaruffi, Valentino Remorgida& Paola Anserini
Gynecological Endocrinology, Volume 35, 2019
DOI: 10.1080/9 513 590.2018.1 540 575