The Relationship of Male Infertility with Somatosensory Amplification, Health Anxiety and Depression Levels

Psychiatry Investig. 2020 Apr;17(4):350-355. doi: 10.30773/pi.2019.0248. Epub 2020 Apr 8.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between infertility and factors such as anxiety, health anxiety, depression, and somatosensory amplification in male patients presenting with infertility.

Methods: In this study, we evaluated 198 patients (infertile group: 130, control group: 68). Patients that fit the inclusion criteria were informed about the aim and method of the study and filled out sociodemographic data collection form, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), The Somatosensory Amplification Scale (SSAS), and Health Anxiety Inventory (HAI) questionnaires.

Results: The mean scores for SSAS, HAI, BAI, and BDI were significantly higher in the infertility group compared to the control group (p<0.001 for all comparisons). Moreover, the mean scores of the patients in the primary infertile group (n=107) were significantly higher than in the secondary infertile group (n=23) (p<0.05 for all comparisons). Logistic regression analysis revealed that infertility had a significant effect on age, HAI and BDI.

Conclusion: Psychiatric evaluation of infertile patients may contribute to more efficient use of health services, may reduce the negative effects of anxiety and depression on fertility, and in turn, increase the success of infertility treatment. Therefore, we recommend that each patient presenting with infertility undergoes psychiatric evaluation as part of their treatment.

Keywords: Depression; Health anxiety; Male infertility; Primary infertility; Somatosensory amplification.