Psychosomatic aspects in idiopathic infertility: effects of treatment with autogenic training

J Psychosom Res. 1983;27(2):145-51. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(83)90091-0.


It has long been recognised that there is a relationship between emotional stress and some forms of infertility. We have endeavoured to estimate "stress' levels before and after Autogenic Training in 15 couples with infertility of at least two years' duration. Potential stress markers were: plasma prolactin, total urinary free cortisol and catecholamines, and four psychological tests: Spielberger State-Trait anxiety scale, Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, the Cattell 16 personality factor questionnaire, and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. A control group of ten normal couples was included for comparison. The biochemical finding of higher mean prolactin levels in the female patients vs their controls was of particular interest. The significant reduction of the prolactin level, in parallel with decreased anxiety scores following treatment, supports the hypothesis that the elevated prolactin levels in these patients are indeed linked with emotional stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Autogenic Training*
  • Female
  • Guilt
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / urine
  • Infertility / blood
  • Infertility / psychology*
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Introversion, Psychological
  • Male
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Stress, Psychological / blood


  • Prolactin
  • Hydrocortisone