Depression: An emotional obstacle to seeking medical advice for infertility

Herbert, Danielle L., Lucke, Jayne C. and Dobson, Annette J. (2010) Depression: An emotional obstacle to seeking medical advice for infertility. Fertility and Sterility, 94 5: 1817-1821. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.10.062

Author Herbert, Danielle L.
Lucke, Jayne C.
Dobson, Annette J.
Title Depression: An emotional obstacle to seeking medical advice for infertility
Journal name Fertility and Sterility   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0015-0282
Publication date 2010-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.10.062
Volume 94
Issue 5
Start page 1817
End page 1821
Total pages 5
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA,. United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Formatted abstract
To investigate the mental and general health of infertile women who had not sought medical advice for their recognized infertility and were therefore not represented in clinical populations.

Longitudinal cohort study.

Population based.

Participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health aged 28–33 years in 2006 who had ever tried to conceive or had been pregnant (n = 5,936).


Main Outcome Measure(s)
Infertility, not seeking medical advice.

Compared with fertile women (n = 4,905), infertile women (n = 1,031) had higher odds of self-reported depression (odds ratio [OR] 1.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.43), endometriosis (5.43, 4.01–7.36), polycystic ovary syndrome (9.52, 7.30–12.41), irregular periods (1.99, 1.68–2.36), type II diabetes (4.70, 1.79–12.37), or gestational diabetes (1.66, 1.12–2.46). Compared with infertile women who sought medical advice (n = 728), those who had not sought medical advice (n = 303) had higher odds of self-reported depression (1.67, 1.18–2.37), other mental health problems (3.14, 1.14–8.64), urinary tract infections (1.67, 1.12–2.49), heavy periods (1.63, 1.16–2.29), or a cancer diagnosis (11.33, 2.57–49.89). Infertile women who had or had not sought medical advice had similar odds of reporting an anxiety disorder or anxiety-related symptoms.

Women with self-reported depression were unlikely to have sought medical advice for infertility. Depression and depressive symptoms may be barriers to seeking medical advice for infertility.
© 2009 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Keyword Infertility
Medical advice
Anxiety disorder
Mental health
Chronic disease
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2011 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 18 Aug 2010, 15:56:57 EST by Dr Danielle Herbert on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences