May 22, 2024

Many women seeking IVF have psychiatric disorders

A study of women seeking IVF treatment in Taiwan has found that 40% were suffering from a psychiatric disorder even though only a tiny fraction had sought help from a psychiatrist. Writing in the journal Human Reproduction, Taiwanese psychiatrists said that previous studies based on questionnaires may have been faulty. Women try to be “good patients” and often conceal psychological problems stress from their clinicians. As well, since patients often lack insight, self-assessment of psychiatric disorders underestimates their distress.

However, the doctors cautioned that their sample was small (only 112 participants) and that cultural factors may play a role in the mood of infertile women. In traditional Eastern cultures, they suffer more from stress than in the West where having offspring to perpetuate the family name is less valued.