Psychological and emotional concomitants of infertility diagnosis in women with diminished ovarian reserve or anatomical cause of infertility

Women with diminished ovarian reserve had greater in- fertility distress than women with anatomical cause of in- fertility. For both, self-esteem was associated with lower distress, which predicted positive reactions to diagnosis.

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Volume 108, Issue 1, Pages 161–167

Authors:

Jennifer M. Nicoloro-SantaBarbara, M.A., Marci Lobel, Ph.D., Silvina Bocca, M.D., Ph.D., James R. Stelling, M.D., Lisa M. Pastore, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To examine the magnitude and predictors of emotional reactions to an infertility diagnosis in two groups of women: those with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), and those clinically diagnosed with an anatomical cause of infertility (ACI).

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Setting

Academic and private fertility clinics.

Patient(s)

Women diagnosed with DOR (n = 51) and women diagnosed with ACI (n = 51).

Intervention(s)

Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Fertility Problem Inventory (infertility distress), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Health Orientation Scale (emotional reactions to receiving a diagnosis).

Result(s)

Women with DOR had statistically significantly higher infertility distress scores than women with ACI and higher scores on subscales assessing distress from social concerns, sexual concerns, and a need for parenthood. In both groups, higher self-esteem was associated with lower infertility distress. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that for women with DOR and those with ACI lower infertility distress but not self-esteem predicted a more positive emotional reaction toward receiving a fertility diagnosis.

Conclusion(s)

Women diagnosed with DOR have greater infertility distress but similar self-esteem and emotional reactions to their diagnosis compared with women who have an anatomical cause of infertility. These results suggest that for both groups distress surrounding infertility itself may influence the way women respond to learning the cause of their infertility.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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