psychiatric disorders and infertilityResearchers in Denmark reviewed information collected during a Danish cohort involving more than 98,000 women in hopes of determining whether or not there was a connection between psychiatric disorders and ineffective infertility treatments. Ineffective infertility treatments included treatments that did not result in live birth. Medical records for study participants were located in the Danish Medical Birth Registry and Danish Psychiatric Central Registry. Psychiatric issues used in the study included all mental issues, alcohol/drug abuse, affective disorder, psychosis or schizophrenia, obsessive or anxiety disorders and eating disorders.

Women who did not experience live birth after fertility treatment were more likely to suffer some psychiatric disorders, but not all. Alcohol, intoxicants, psychosis, schizophrenia, other and all mental disorders, as noted on medical discharge paperwork, were higher in women who did not give birth. Affective disorder, anxiety and obsessive disorder rates were either lower than or equal to women who gave birth after fertility treatment.

Conclusion: Fertility specialists should be aware of possible psychiatric complications associated with ineffective infertility treatment. While only 393 per 100,000 women in this category suffered psychiatric episodes, as defined by listed medical criteria, the rate for women without live birth was higher than women who achieved live birth.

Source: Baldur-Felskov B, Kjaer SK, Albieri V, Steding-Jessen M, Kjaer T, Johansen C, Dalton SO, Jensen A. Psychiatric disorders in women with fertility problems: results from a large Danish register-based cohort study. Hum Reprod. 2013 Mar;28(3):683-90. doi: 10.1093/humrep/des422. Epub 2012 Dec 6.