Psychiatric Morbidity Decreased After Assisted Reproductive Technology Treatment

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Researchers designed a cohort study with intent to describe psychiatric disorders present following assisted reproductive technology treatment for infertility. <i>Credit:Medicimage/Science Source</i>
Researchers designed a cohort study with intent to describe psychiatric disorders present following assisted reproductive technology treatment for infertility. Credit:Medicimage/Science Source

Results of a prospective cohort study published in Human Fertility suggest that psychiatric disorders are less common at 5-year follow-up after assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment compared with baseline assessment.

Researchers designed a cohort study with the intent to describe psychiatric disorders present in both men and women following ART treatment for infertility. The baseline cohort included 862 participants undergoing subsidized ART between 2005 and 2007 at the Center of Reproduction, Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden. Response rates for the follow-up questionnaire at 4.5 to 5 years post-ART were 80.5% in women and 77.6% in men. The incidence of psychiatric disorders was captured using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders questionnaire and an in-person baseline interview conducted by clinicians.

At follow-up, 78.0% of women stated that they had ended ART and 91.7% reported that they were living with children. At the baseline assessment, 76 women (27.3%) and 11 men (6.0%) had a psychiatric diagnosis (P <.05). According to the follow-up questionnaires, 11.5% of women had a psychiatric diagnosis following ART compared with just 5.5% of men (P <.05). Of patients who reported any psychiatric morbidity at follow-up, 50% of women (P <.003) and 30% of men (P <.002) had a diagnosis 5 years previously. After adjusting for age, body mass index, same-partner relationship, and whether or not the participant was living with a child at follow-up, psychiatric morbidity at baseline assessment remained the primary predictor of mental health at follow-up in both women (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.02; 95% CI, 1.41-6.44) and men (adjusted OR, 9.20 95% CI, 1.83-46.09). Living with children had no apparent influence on the results of these analyses. Of note, the psychiatric morbidity at 5-year follow-up was lower than at baseline in both women and men.

This cohort study sought to elucidate the psychiatric burden of fertility treatments in both men and women, and found that a prior diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder was the primary predictor of mental health morbidity following ART. These analyses may serve clinicians in addressing potential psychiatric obstacles in patients undergoing fertility treatments.

Reference

Volgsten H, Schmidt L, Svanberg AS, Ekselius L, Poromaa IS. Psychiatric disorders in women and men up to five years after undergoing assisted reproductive technology treatment – a prospective cohort study [published online May 17, 2018]. Hum Fertil. doi:10.1080/14647273.2018.1474279

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