Examining PTSD as a Complication of Infertility

Medscape Womens Health. 1997 Mar;2(3):1.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may develop following exposure to threatened or actual injury or death. While commonly associated with war or natural disaster, symptoms of PTSD have been described in patients who are undergoing or who have completed infertility treatment or high-risk pregnancies. Three case studies of patients who developed PTSD following such pregnancies are discussed, demonstrating the variety of symptoms and presentations of these patients. The clinician must be vigilant in monitoring infertility patients with PTSD. These women, as the result of infertility, may be at increased risk of developing PTSD, one of the recognized postpartum psychiatric disorders. It is important to distinguish PTSD from postpartum depression, because treatment guidelines vary.