Psychiatric issues related to infertility, reproductive technologies, and abortion

Prim Care. 2002 Mar;29(1):13-26, v. doi: 10.1016/s0095-4543(03)00071-x.


Infertility, treatment with reproductive technologies, and abortion are among the most emotionally weighty and philosophically contentious experiences in most patients' lives. They involve the most intimate body parts and behaviors and the most heartfelt hopes and profound disappointments. They can strain relationships with partners, relatives, and friends. The primary care practitioner who is informed about the psychological impact of these experiences can play an essential role in interpreting medical information; helping patients think through their own values, resources, and options; facilitating communication between members of a couple and with their friends and family; providing emotional support; and identifying and treating psychiatric disorders that sometimes occur before, during, or after these experiences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / psychology*
  • Counseling / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / psychology*
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Medical Futility
  • Physician's Role
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psychiatry / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / psychology*
  • Women's Health