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Identifying Mental Health Issues Associated With Infertility

Published:November 03, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2022.09.024

      Highlights

      • Infertility crosses all races, ethnic groups, and educational levels.
      • Evidence supports that those experiencing infertility use assisted reproductive technology and experience a greater incidence of depression, anxiety, and stress.
      • The most prevalent psychiatric disorders seen in those experiencing infertility include anxiety disorder (23.2%), major depressive disorder (17%), and dysthymia (9.8%).
      • Validated psychiatric screening tools, including 3 specifically developed for use with infertility patients, may be useful for identifying mental health issues associated with infertility.

      Abstract

      Infertility is a significant health issue currently affecting up to 10% of the reproductive population in the United States. Current evidence indicates higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress among individuals who are experiencing infertility, and those seeking assisted reproductive technologies often meet criteria for major psychiatric disorders, such as major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and dysthymia. Financial stressors, rigorous testing, and treatment modalities, in the context of limited social support, can result in strained communication with providers and mental health symptoms being attributed to the circumstances. This report provides an overview of common mental health issues seen in those experiencing infertility and describes screening tools for clinical use in identifying psychiatric disorders.

      Keywords

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      Biography

      Michele Martens, DNP, PMHCNS-BC, is an Instructor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN, and can be reached at [email protected] .

      Biography

      Matt Schroer, DNP, PMHNP-BC, is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN,. Ty Williams, DNP, is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN.

      Biography

      Betsy Kennedy, PhD, is a Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN .