The effect of mind-body interventions on psychological and pregnancy outcomes in infertile women: a systematic review

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2020 Aug;23(4):479-491. doi: 10.1007/s00737-019-01009-8. Epub 2020 Jan 2.


Preliminary evidence suggests that mind-body interventions, including mindfulness-based interventions and yoga, may be effective in reducing mental health difficulties and psychological distress in infertile patients undergoing fertility treatments. We systematically reviewed and synthesized current medical literature of the effectiveness of mind-body interventions in reducing the severity of psychological distress and improving marital function and pregnancy outcomes in infertile women/couple. Databases including PsychINFO, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched for relevant studies. Manual searches were conducted in relevant articles. We included 12 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Four studies were randomized controlled trials (RCT), 4 non-randomized controlled trial (NRCT), and 4 uncontrolled studies (UCT). Participation in a mind-body intervention was associated with reduced anxiety trait and depression scores. The reduction was of low or moderate amplitude in most studies. Our review offers evidence for the effectiveness of mind-body interventions in reducing anxiety state and depression in infertile women and a possible improvement in pregnancy rate. Further RCTs with a precise timing of intervention are needed.

Keywords: Infertility; Mind body; Mindfulness; Pregnancy; Psychological outcome.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / psychology*
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Mind-Body Therapies*
  • Mindfulness
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / psychology*
  • Yoga
  • Young Adult