Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for opioid and other substance use during infertility treatment

Substance use commonly affects infertility patients. It worsens infertility, complicates pregnancy, and increases medical problems. The reproductive endocrinologist should screen for substance use, provide initial counseling and refer to treatment.

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Volume 108, Issue 2, Pages 214–221


Tricia E. Wright, M.D., M.S.


Opioid use and misuse have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, especially in women of childbearing age, some of whom seek infertility treatments. Substance use is much more common than many of the conditions routinely screened for during the preconception period, and it can have devastating consequences for the woman and her family. Substance use can worsen infertility, complicate pregnancy, increase medical problems, and lead to psychosocial difficulties for the woman and her family. The reproductive endocrinologist thus has an ethical and medical duty to screen for substance use, provide initial counseling, and refer to specialized treatment as needed. This article provides an overview of screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), a public health approach shown to be effective in ameliorating the harms of substance use.

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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.