Women’s Emotional Distress Does Not Affect Infertility Treatment Outcomes

A new study conducted at Stony Brook University reveals that there is no strong association between women’s emotional state and the success of infertility treatment.

The study was written by Professor of Psychology Dr. Marci Lobel, social and health psychology graduate student Jennifer Nicoloro SantaBarbara, and several other colleagues from Stony Brook University.

Women who undergo infertility treatment, particularly in-vitro fertilization (IVF), can experience severe stress when their treatment is unsuccessful.

They often report that their friends and family members urge them to “relax” in order for them to conceive.

This causes women to believe that their mental state is the reason behind the failure of their treatment. However, researchers don’t agree with this notion.

Over 20 published studies that involved more than 4,000 women were examined by the research team.

They wanted to explore if women’s emotional distress had any impact on the success of infertility treatments.

After a comprehensive analysis, researchers concluded that women’s emotional distress, including anxiety and depressive symptoms, is not connected to treatment failures.

Women’s age, the length of time of infertility, as well as prior infertility treatment, didn’t have any impact on the success of treatment.

“Our results offer hope and optimism to the many women who feel emotionally responsible or blame themselves for poor outcomes of infertility treatment,” said Lobel.​

The results of the study were published in the Social Science and Medicine journal.

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