A prospective study of stress among women undergoing in vitro fertilization or gamete intrafallopian transfer

Fertil Steril. 2001 Oct;76(4):675-87. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(01)02008-8.


Objective: To evaluate whether baseline or procedural stress during in vitro fertilization (IVF) or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) affects pregnancy or live birth delivery rates.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: Seven clinics in Southern California between 1993 and 1998.

Patient(s): One hundred and fifty-one women completed two questionnaires.

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): The number of oocytes aspirated and fertilized, the number of embryos transferred, the achievement of a pregnancy, live birth delivery, and infant outcomes.

Result(s): Positive-affect negative-affect score at baseline negatively influenced the number of oocytes retrieved and embryos transferred. A higher expectation of pregnancy was associated with greater numbers of oocytes fertilized and embryos transferred. At baseline, the risk of no live birth was 93% lower for women who had the highest positive-affect score compared to those with the lowest score. Furthermore, the score on the Infertility Reaction Scale was related to negative outcomes in live birth delivery, infant birth weight, and multiple births. During the time of the procedure, the PANAS and Bipolar Profile of Moods States results were related to the number of oocytes fertilized and embryos transferred; stress did not affect pregnancy or delivery.

Conclusion(s): Baseline (acute and chronic) stress affected biologic end points (i.e., number of oocytes retrieved and fertilized), as well as pregnancy, live birth delivery, birth weight, and multiple gestations, whereas (procedural) stress only influenced biologic end points.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Birth Rate
  • Birth Weight
  • Embryo Transfer
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / psychology*
  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Oocytes
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Pregnancy, Multiple
  • Prospective Studies
  • Specimen Handling
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires