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23-05-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Depression may hinder success of infertility treatment


Free abstract

MedWire News: Depression is one of the main reasons — in addition to cost, age, and educational levels — that infertility patients do not pursue treatment, show US study findings.

Michael Eisenberg (University of California, San Francisco) and colleagues evaluated medical and socioeconomic data, including depressive symptoms and anxiety levels, in a cohort of 434 women presenting for an initial infertility evaluation.

Participants were then interviewed 4, 10, and 18 months after the initial consultation, to assess treatment and progress.

Overall, 55 (13 percent) women did not undergo any treatment during the study period, citing financial concerns (58 percent), medical futility (26 percent), and emotional stress (20 percent) as their reasons.

After adjusting the responses for possible confounding factors, every 5-year increase in women’s age (from the initial consultation) increased the odds of not pursuing treatment by 77 percent. In addition, women who had less than a college education were 79 percent more likely not to pursue treatment than college-educated women.

Finally, for each 4.5-point increase on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, the odds for not pursuing treatment increased by 23 percent.

The researchers believe this finding “argues for the institution of methods aimed at detection and treatment of depression at the initial infertility evaluation.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy