Psychological adjustment during pregnancy and the postpartum period in single and multiple in vitro fertilization births: A review and preliminary findings from an ongoing study

C. Glazebrook, S. Cox, M. Oates, F.R.C.P. Synch, G. Ndukwe

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Psychological outcomes of successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment are poorly understood, particularly in couples experiencing a multiple birth. Methods: Anxiety and depression at 18 weeks of pregnancy, 28 weeks of pregnancy, and at 6 weeks postpartum were compared in couples conceiving twins or triplets following IVF (IVFM), couples conceiving a single baby (IVFS), and couples conceiving without treatment for infertility (NC). Parenting stress was also assessed at 1 year postpartum. Results: The IVFM group was significantly more anxious at 18 weeks and 28 weeks of pregnancy than both the IVFS group and the naturally conceiving group. Over 30% of female partners in this group had levels of anxiety suggestive of a clinical disorder. There was no evidence that women conceiving following IVF treatment were at increased risk of developing postnatal depression. In couples with a single birth, male rates of postpartum depression were significantly lower than those of females, but in the IVFM group, men had rates that were higher but statistically similar to females. Conclusion: Psychological complications of multiple IVF pregnancies include increased anxiety during pregnancy and, for fathers, poorer mental health in the early postpartum period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Technologies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000



  • adult
  • anxiety
  • article
  • birth
  • child parent relation
  • comparative study
  • conception
  • controlled study
  • female
  • fertilization in vitro
  • gender
  • human
  • human experiment
  • infertility
  • male
  • multiple pregnancy
  • pregnancy
  • psychologic assessment
  • puerperal depression
  • puerperium
  • review
  • stress

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