Anxiety, Difficulties, and Coping of Infertile Women

Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Apr 15;9(4):466. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9040466.


The present study aims to highlight how women perceive and adapt to infertility difficulties. To better understand the difficulties that women diagnosed with infertility are experiencing, the study explores this concept in correlation with anxiety and coping. 240 women with fertility problems from various parts of Romania completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Form Y), Brief COPE and the scale "Difficulties With Infertility and Its Treatment." Statistical analyzes showed that women who were at the beginning of treatment obtained higher scores on the anxiety [F(2,237) = 4.76, p = 0.009] and on the difficulties scale [F(2,237) = 3.53, p = 0.031], compared to participants who resorted to repeated fertilization procedures. It is important to emphasize that there is a significant positive correlation between the perception of infertility difficulties and coping, and also between difficulties and state anxiety. Regarding the relationship between state anxiety and coping, there were significant positive associations between maladaptive coping strategies and state anxiety, while adaptive strategies were negatively associated with state anxiety. In addition, regarding coping strategies, venting and self-blame occurred predominantly in women who know that the cause of infertility is female-related. These findings draws attention to the fact that infertile women live this experience at very high levels of anxiety, using quite a few adaptive coping mechanisms. These results highlight the need to investigate ways to reduce anxiety and optimizing adaptive coping strategies.

Keywords: anxiety; coping strategies; difficulties; infertility; women.