The study was designed to examine the extent to which the psychological profiles of couples entering an IVF programme were influenced by evidence of previous fertility, the history of fertility investigations, the diagnosis made, and the coping strategies adopted. A sample of 152 couples was administered a number of standardized psychological instruments and a coping strategies questionnaire. They showed little variation from the normative range on the standardized measures. There was little evidence of differences between couples referred for primary or secondary infertility, between those with some evidence of fertility and those with none, or between different diagnostic groups. In relation to coping strategy, for women at least, taking direct action appears to be effective if it is associated with some degree of acceptance of one's position. For males, the picture is less clear, though direct action and acceptance again appear to be effective coping strategies.