Distress and conception in infertile women: a complementary approach

J Am Med Womens Assoc (1972). 1999 Fall;54(4):196-8.


Objectives: To examine the relationship of pretreatment psychological distress and demographics to conception in infertile women attending a group cognitive-behavioral treatment program.

Methods: Pre- and postprogram psychological measures and live birth rates were collected for 132 infertile women attending a ten-session group cognitive-behavioral treatment program. Subjects completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Symptom Checklist-90 (Revised) (SCL-90R). Conceptions that resulted in live births within six months of completing the program were noted.

Results: Women who conceived viable pregnancies within six months of the program had higher levels of psychological distress at program entry. Using logistic regression analysis, the best predictors of viable birth were younger age and a higher score on the global severity index of the SCL-90R. Significant pre- to postprogram psychological improvement was demonstrated by the SCL-90R and the BDI. Forty-two percent of the sample conceived viable pregnancies within six months of completing the program.

Conclusions: Preprogram psychological distress and younger age were associated with significantly higher viable pregnancy rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Medicine*
  • Depression / classification
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / psychology*
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome