Differences in perceived stress during ovarian stimulation between women with infertility or pursuing oocyte cryopreservation

Women with infertility may experience higher levels of perceived stress than social oocyte cryopreservation patients before ovarian stimulation and experience a decline in stress levels after treatment.

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VOLUME 114, ISSUE 5, P1076-1084


Amanda Adeleye, M.D., Katrina Cruz, B.S., Lauri Pasch, Ph.D., Heather Huddleston, M.D.



To determine whether the purpose of ovarian stimulation (oocyte cryopreservation [OC] versus in vitro fertilization (IVF) is associated with perceived stress before or after ovarian stimulation; and whether perceived stress is associated with ovarian stimulation outcomes.


Prospective cohort study.


Academic practice.


Women undergoing their first ovarian stimulation cycle as part of a randomized clinical trial, the Learning from Online Video Education (LOVE) study (NCT02979990).


Questionnaire before and after ovarian stimulation.

Main Outcome Measures(S)

Perceived stress scale (PSS) scores before and after stimulation. The number of oocytes collected was a secondary measure.


After adjustment for age, income, race, education, financial assistance, and fertility diagnosis, the indication for treatment (IVF vs. OC) was a significant predictor of pretreatment PSS scores. IVF participants had higher pretreatment scores (18.01 ± 6.43) than did OC participants (15.62 ± 5.61). Posttreatment PSS scores did not differ between the two groups. IVF participants experienced a decrease of 0.85 ± 2.34 points in PSS scores after treatment, whereas OC participant scores were stable over time. The trajectory of PSS scores differed between the two groups and neared significance. Financial support was a significant predictor of pretreatment and posttreatment PSS scores for the entire cohort. Neither pretreatment nor posttreatment PSS was predictive of the number oocytes collected.


Compared with OC patients, IVF patients have higher stress levels, which decrease after ovarian stimulation. Perceived stress does not affect oocyte yield.

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.