Posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression following pregnancies conceived through fertility treatments: the effects of medically assisted conception on postpartum well-being

J Reprod Med. Mar-Apr 2012;57(3-4):115-22.


Objective: To compare the postpartum prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression in women who conceived via medically assisted conception (MAC) and women who conceived naturally.

Study design: All women (n = 907) who delivered under supervision of four independent midwifery practices and three hospitals in the Netherlands during a 3-month period were asked to complete questionnaires on demographic, logistic, psychosocial and obstetric characteristics two to six months postpartum. In this cross-sectional study PTSD was measured with the Traumatic Event Scale-B; anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: The response rate was 47% (428 participants). No significant differences were found in the prevalence of PTSD (0.0% vs. 1.3%; odds ratio [OR] = 0.0, confidence interval [CI]: 0-infinity), anxiety (28.1% vs. 22.2%; OR = 1.4, CI: 0.6-3.1) and depression (9.4% vs. 14.6%; OR = 0.6, CI: 0.8-2.0) between the 32 women who conceived via MAC and the 396 women who conceived naturally.

Conclusion: We did not find significant differences in the prevalence of PTSD, anxiety and depression between women who conceived via MAC and women who conceived naturally.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires