Psychosocial distress and infertility: men and women respond differently

Fertil Steril. 1991 Jan;55(1):100-8.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate gender differences in psychosocial responses of 449 consecutive first-admission couples in a fertility clinic. Consistent with previous research, infertile women showed higher distress than their partners on a global measure of psychiatric symptoms and subscales of anxiety, depression, hostility, and cognitive disturbances, as well as on measures of stress and self-esteem. When compared with same-sexed population norms on the measure of psychiatric symptoms, both male and female infertile patients were significantly more distressed than average. No evidence was found for unusually high levels of marital or sexual distress at intake. Implications of results for clinical management are explored.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / psychology*
  • Infertility, Male / psychology*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychological Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Stress, Psychological*