PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (1279763)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  National, Regional, and Global Trends in Infertility Prevalence Since 1990: A Systematic Analysis of 277 Health Surveys 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(12):e1001356.
Gretchen Stevens and colleagues use information from demographic reproductive health surveys to estimate the global, regional, and country levels, patterns, and trends in infertility between 1990 and 2010.
Background
Global, regional, and national estimates of prevalence of and tends in infertility are needed to target prevention and treatment efforts. By applying a consistent algorithm to demographic and reproductive surveys available from developed and developing countries, we estimate infertility prevalence and trends, 1990 to 2010, by country and region.
Methods and Findings
We accessed and analyzed household survey data from 277 demographic and reproductive health surveys using a consistent algorithm to calculate infertility. We used a demographic infertility measure with live birth as the outcome and a 5-y exposure period based on union status, contraceptive use, and desire for a child. We corrected for biases arising from the use of incomplete information on past union status and contraceptive use. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate prevalence of and trends in infertility in 190 countries and territories. In 2010, among women 20–44 y of age who were exposed to the risk of pregnancy, 1.9% (95% uncertainty interval 1.7%, 2.2%) were unable to attain a live birth (primary infertility). Out of women who had had at least one live birth and were exposed to the risk of pregnancy, 10.5% (9.5%, 11.7%) were unable to have another child (secondary infertility). Infertility prevalence was highest in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa/Middle East, and Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Levels of infertility in 2010 were similar to those in 1990 in most world regions, apart from declines in primary and secondary infertility in Sub-Saharan Africa and primary infertility in South Asia (posterior probability [pp] ≥0.99). Although there were no statistically significant changes in the prevalence of infertility in most regions amongst women who were exposed to the risk of pregnancy, reduced child-seeking behavior resulted in a reduction of primary infertility among all women from 1.6% to 1.5% (pp = 0.90) and a reduction of secondary infertility among all women from 3.9% to 3.0% (pp>0.99) from 1990 to 2010. Due to population growth, however, the absolute number of couples affected by infertility increased from 42.0 million (39.6 million, 44.8 million) in 1990 to 48.5 million (45.0 million, 52.6 million) in 2010. Limitations of the study include gaps in survey data for some countries and the use of proxies to determine exposure to pregnancy.
Conclusions
We analyzed demographic and reproductive household survey data to reveal global patterns and trends in infertility. Independent from population growth and worldwide declines in the preferred number of children, we found little evidence of changes in infertility over two decades, apart from in the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Further research is needed to identify the etiological causes of these patterns and trends.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Reproductive health is a priority global health area: the target for Millennium Development Goal 5B is to provide universal access to reproductive health by 2015. The indicators for monitoring progress in reaching this target are contraceptive prevalence rate, adolescent birth rate, antenatal care coverage, and the unmet need for family planning. Infertility, the inability to conceive after a prolonged period (the length of time varies in different definitions) of unprotected intercourse, is a critical but much neglected aspect of reproductive health. The inability to have children affects couples worldwide and causes emotional and psychological distress in both men and women. Many factors—including physiological, genetic, environmental, and social— contribute to infertility. According to the World Health Organization, infertility resulting from sexually transmitted diseases or reproductive tract infections is particularly problematic in Africa and Latin America.
Why Was This Study Done?
The researchers used a uniform measure of infertility that incorporated live birth as the outcome of interest (as this information is more commonly reported than pregnancies), a five-year “exposure period,” that is, a five-year period of being in an intimate relationship, not using contraceptives, and wanting a child (as the researchers calculated that this period was necessary to accommodate the time it takes to become pregnant and have a child, and to allow for incomplete information on frequency of unprotected intercourse). The researchers used a statistical model (Bayesian hierarchical model) to generate estimates for levels and trends of infertility in 190 countries over the time period 1990 to 2010 using information collected from national demographic and reproductive health surveys. The most data was available for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers found that in 2010, 1.9% of women aged 20–44 years who wanted to have children were unable to have their first live birth (primary infertility), and 10.5% of women with a previous live birth were unable to have an additional live birth (secondary infertility). The researchers found that the levels of infertility were similar in 1990 and 2010, with only a slight overall decrease in primary infertility (0.1%, but with a more pronounced drop in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia) and a modest overall increase in secondary infertility (0.4%). Age affected infertility rates: the prevalence of primary infertility was higher among women aged 20–24 years than among older women. The age pattern was reversed and even more pronounced for secondary infertility. And primary infertility rates among women wanting children also varied by region, from 1.5% in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2010, to 2.6% in North Africa and the Middle East. With a few exceptions, global and country patterns of secondary infertility were similar to those of primary infertility.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that in 2010, an estimated 48.5 million couples worldwide were unable to have a child after five years. However, these findings also suggest that global levels of primary and secondary infertility hardly changed between 1990 and 2010. It is important to note that an infertility measure based on ability to become pregnant (rather than having a live birth—the outcome used in this study) may show different levels of infertility, and using an exposure period shorter than the five years used in this study would produce higher rates of infertility. However, because of the lack of widespread data collection on time to pregnancy, the methods used and results shown in this study provide useful insights into global, regional, and country patterns and trends in infertility.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001356.
The World Health Organization has information on reproductive health
Wikipedia defines infertility and gives some useful information (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Patient friendly information on infertility can be found at PubMed Health and NHS Choices
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001356
PMCID: PMC3525527  PMID: 23271957
2.  Pretreatment Beck Depression Inventory score is an important predictor for Post-treatment score in infertile patients: a before-after study 
BMC Psychiatry  2005;5:25.
Background
The experience of infertility can be extremely stressful. Some of the risk factors for depression in infertility are being female, repeated unsuccessful treatment cycles or a 2 to 3 year history of infertility, low socioeconomic status, foreign nationality, lack of partner support, life events and previous depression. In this study, we analyzed the Beck Depression Inventory score at the beginning and the end of infertility treatment, to determine which factors may influence the BDI score after treatment of infertility.
Methods
In a before-after study, in a university-affiliated teaching hospital, 251 women who had been visited for assisted reproductive technology infertility treatment participated in the study. BDI score was assessed before and after treatment of infertility.
Results
The mean BDI score rose after unsuccessful treatment and dropped after successful treatment. Those with lower education levels had a higher BDI score before treatment. BDI score after treatment was positively correlated with pretreatment BDI scoreand duration of infertility.
Conclusion
BDI score after treatment was strongly connected to the BDI score before treatment, the result of therapy and to the duration of infertility. The influence of duration of infertility on BDI score after treatment of infertility is weak. So a simple method to screen patients at risk of depression after infertility treatment is determining pretreatment BDI score and predicting the result of infertility treatment by other risk factors.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-5-25
PMCID: PMC1173120  PMID: 15910692
3.  Predicting Live Birth, Preterm Delivery, and Low Birth Weight in Infants Born from In Vitro Fertilisation: A Prospective Study of 144,018 Treatment Cycles 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(1):e1000386.
Using the HFEA database of all 144,018 live births in all IVF cycles in the UK between 2003 and 2007, Scott Nelson and Debbie Lawlor show that couple- and treatment-specific factors can be used to help predict successful outcome following IVF.
Background
The extent to which baseline couple characteristics affect the probability of live birth and adverse perinatal outcomes after assisted conception is unknown.
Methods and Findings
We utilised the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority database to examine the predictors of live birth in all in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles undertaken in the UK between 2003 and 2007 (n = 144,018). We examined the potential clinical utility of a validated model that pre-dated the introduction of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as compared to a novel model. For those treatment cycles that resulted in a live singleton birth (n = 24,226), we determined the associates of potential risk factors with preterm birth, low birth weight, and macrosomia. The overall rate of at least one live birth was 23.4 per 100 cycles (95% confidence interval [CI] 23.2–23.7). In multivariable models the odds of at least one live birth decreased with increasing maternal age, increasing duration of infertility, a greater number of previously unsuccessful IVF treatments, use of own oocytes, necessity for a second or third treatment cycle, or if it was not unexplained infertility. The association of own versus donor oocyte with reduced odds of live birth strengthened with increasing age of the mother. A previous IVF live birth increased the odds of future success (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.46–1.71) more than that of a previous spontaneous live birth (OR 1.19, 95% CI 0.99–1.24); p-value for difference in estimate <0.001. Use of ICSI increased the odds of live birth, and male causes of infertility were associated with reduced odds of live birth only in couples who had not received ICSI. Prediction of live birth was feasible with moderate discrimination and excellent calibration; calibration was markedly improved in the novel compared to the established model. Preterm birth and low birth weight were increased if oocyte donation was required and ICSI was not used. Risk of macrosomia increased with advancing maternal age and a history of previous live births. Infertility due to cervical problems was associated with increased odds of all three outcomes—preterm birth, low birth weight, and macrosomia.
Conclusions
Pending external validation, our results show that couple- and treatment-specific factors can be used to provide infertile couples with an accurate assessment of whether they have low or high risk of a successful outcome following IVF.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 10% of couples are infertile. Sometimes there is no obvious reason for a couple's inability to have children but, for many couples, problems with their eggs or sperm prevent “fertilization”—the union of an egg and a sperm that leads, eventually, to the birth of a baby. Until recently, little could be done to help infertile couples. Then, on the 25 July 1978, the world's first “test-tube baby” was born. Since then, 4 million babies have been born through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In IVF, mature eggs are collected from the woman (or from an egg donor if the woman cannot make her own eggs) after a course of special hormones, and they are mixed in a dish with her partner's sperm. If her partner has a low sperm count or abnormal sperm, a single sperm can be injected directly into the egg in a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which became widely available in the mid 1990s, or sperm from a donor can be used. Finally, a number (depending on the country) of embryos (eggs that have begun to divide and develop) are put back into the woman where, hopefully, they will establish a successful pregnancy.
Why Was This Study Done?
Not every attempt at IVF is successful. In the US and the UK, IVF is successful in about a third of women under 35 years old but in only 5%–10% of women over the age of 40. It would be useful to have a way to predict the likelihood of a live birth after IVF for individual couples. Such a “prediction model” would facilitate patient counseling, clinical decision making, and the allocation of IVF resources. In this study, the researchers use information on IVF cycles collected by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates IVF in the UK, to assess the extent to which the characteristics of infertile couples and the treatment they receive can be used to predict live birth after IVF. They also use these data to identify which factors are associated with preterm delivery, low birthweight, and macrosomia (the birth of an unusually large baby), three undesirable birth characteristics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 2003 and 2007, 163,425 IVF cycles were completed in the UK, 23.4% of which resulted in at least one live birth. The researchers used the data collected by the HFEA on 144,018 of these cycles (the other cycles had missing data) to develop a multivariable logistic regression prediction model (a type of statistical model) for the outcome of IVF. According to this model, a decreased chance of at least one live birth was associated with several factors including increasing maternal age, increasing duration of infertility, and the use of the woman's own oocytes. By contrast, a previous IVF live birth and the use of ICSI were associated with increased chances of success. Importantly, compared with an established multivariable prediction model, which was developed before the introduction of ICSI, the researchers' new prediction model predicted the chance of a live birth following IVF with greater accuracy. Finally, the researchers report that the chances of preterm and low birthweight after IVF were increased if donor eggs were required and ICSI was not used, that an increased risk of macrosomia was associated with increasing maternal age and with a history of previous live births, and that all three undesirable birth characteristics were associated with infertility due to cervical problems.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that couple- and treatment-specific factors can be used to provide infertile couples with an accurate assessment of whether they have a low or high chance of a successful outcome following IVF. The prediction model developed here provides a more accurate assessment of likely outcomes after IVF than a previously established model. Furthermore, because the new model considers the effect of ICSI on outcomes, it should be more useful in contemporary populations than the established model, which does not consider ICSI. However, before this new prediction model is used to guide clinical decisions and to counsel patients, it needs to be validated using independent IVF data. To facilitate the external validation of their model, the researchers are currently generating a free web-based prediction tool and iPhone application (IVFpredict).
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000386.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority provides information on IVF and IVF statistics for the UK
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients on infertility and on IVF
The American Pregnancy Association has information for patients on infertility and on IVF
MedlinePlus has links to further resources on infertility and IVF (in English and Spanish)
The history of the development of IVF is described on the Nobel Prize website
The prediction tool that was used in this study is at http://www.IVFpredict.com
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000386
PMCID: PMC3014925  PMID: 21245905
4.  Psychiatric Intervention Improved Pregnancy Rates in Infertile Couples 
Background:
Infertility has mental, social, and reproductive consequences. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of psychiatric intervention on the pregnancy rate of infertile couples.
Methods:
In an experimental and intervention-control study, 638 infertile patients who were referred to a university infertility clinic were evaluated; 140 couples (280 patients) with depression (from mild to severe) in at least one of the spouses were followed. All couples provided informed consent and were randomly numbered from 1 to 140. Those with even numbers were assigned to the psychological intervention before infertility treatment, and those with odd numbers were assigned to the psychological intervention during infertility treatment. Patients in the experimental group received 6–8 sessions of psychotherapy (individually) before beginning infertility treatment and were given Fluoxetine (antidepressant) at 20–60 mg per day during the psychotherapy period. The control group did not receive any intervention. Three questionnaires, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Stress Scale (Holmes-Rahe), and a sociodemographic questionnaire, were administered to all patients before and after treatment. The clinical pregnancy rate was compared between the two groups based on sonographic detection of gestational sac 6 weeks after the last menstrual period. The data were analysed by t test, X2 and logistic regression methods.
Results:
Pregnancy occurred in 33 (47.1%) couples in the treatment group and in only 5 (7.1%) couples in the control group. There was a significant difference in pregnancy rate between the treatment and control groups (X2= 28.318, P < 0.001). To determine the effectiveness of psychiatric interventions on pregnancy, a logistic regression analysis was used. In this analysis, all demographic and infertility variables were entered in a stepwise manner. The results showed that in the treatment group, Pregnancy in the treatment group was 14 times higher than the control group (95% CI 4.8 to 41.7). Furthermore, cause of infertility was an effective factor of pregnancy. The adjusted odds ratio in male factor infertility was 0.115 (95% CI 0.02 to 0.55) and in both factors (male and female) infertility was 0.142 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.76) compared with the unexplained group. In this study, no other variables had any significant effect on pregnancy.
Conclusion:
Based on the effectiveness of psychiatric interventions in increasing pregnancy rate, it is crucial to mandate psychiatric counselling in all fertility centres in order to diagnose and treat infertile patients with psychiatric disorders.
PMCID: PMC3216204  PMID: 22135569
behaviour therapy; depression; fertility; infertility; psychotherapy; pregnancy
5.  In Vitro Fertilization and Multiple Pregnancies 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this health technology policy assessment was to determine the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of IVF for infertility treatment, as well as the role of IVF in reducing the rate of multiple pregnancies.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Typically defined as a failure to conceive after a year of regular unprotected intercourse, infertility affects 8% to 16% of reproductive age couples. The condition can be caused by disruptions at various steps of the reproductive process. Major causes of infertility include abnormalities of sperm, tubal obstruction, endometriosis, ovulatory disorder, and idiopathic infertility. Depending on the cause and patient characteristics, management options range from pharmacologic treatment to more advanced techniques referred to as assisted reproductive technologies (ART). ART include IVF and IVF-related procedures such as intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and, according to some definitions, intra-uterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination. Almost invariably, an initial step in ART is controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), which leads to a significantly higher rate of multiple pregnancies after ART compared with that following natural conception. Multiple pregnancies are associated with a broad range of negative consequences for both mother and fetuses. Maternal complications include increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, polyhydramnios, gestational diabetes, fetal malpresentation requiring Caesarean section, postpartum haemorrhage, and postpartum depression. Babies from multiple pregnancies are at a significantly higher risk of early death, prematurity, and low birth weight, as well as mental and physical disabilities related to prematurity. Increased maternal and fetal morbidity leads to higher perinatal and neonatal costs of multiple pregnancies, as well as subsequent lifelong costs due to disabilities and an increased need for medical and social support.
The Technology Being Reviewed
IVF was first developed as a method to overcome bilateral Fallopian tube obstruction. The procedure includes several steps: (1) the woman’s egg is retrieved from the ovaries; (2) exposed to sperm outside the body and fertilized; (3) the embryo(s) is cultured for 3 to 5 days; and (4) is transferred back to the uterus. IFV is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for infertility today. According to data from the Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technology Registry, the average live birth rate after IVF in Canada is around 30%, but there is considerable variation in the age of the mother and primary cause of infertility.
An important advantage of IVF is that it allows for the control of the number of embryos transferred. An elective single embryo transfer in IVF cycles adopted in many European countries was shown to significantly reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies while maintaining acceptable birth rates. However, when number of embryos transferred is not limited, the rate of IVF-associated multiple pregnancies is similar to that of other treatments involving ovarian stimulation. The practice of multiple embryo transfer in IVF is often the result of pressures to increase success rates due to the high costs of the procedure. The average rate of multiple pregnancies resulting from IVF in Canada is currently around 30%.
An alternative to IVF is IUI. In spite of reported lower success rates of IUI (pregnancy rates per cycle range from 8.7% to 17.1%) it is generally attempted before IVF due to its lower invasiveness and cost.
Two major drawbacks of IUI are that it cannot be used in cases of bilateral tubal obstruction and it does not allow much control over the risk of multiple pregnancies compared with IVF. The rate of multiple pregnancies after IUI with COS is estimated to be about 21% to 29%.
Ontario Health Insurance Plan Coverage
Currently, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan covers the cost of IVF for women with bilaterally blocked Fallopian tubes only, in which case it is funded for 3 cycles, excluding the cost of drugs. The cost of IUI is covered except for preparation of the sperm and drugs used for COS.
Diffusion of Technology
According to Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technology Registry data, in 2004 there were 25 infertility clinics across Canada offering IVF and 7,619 IVF cycles performed. In Ontario, there are 13 infertility clinics with about 4,300 IVF cycles performed annually.
Literature Review
Royal Commission Report on Reproductive Technologies
The 1993 release of the Royal Commission report on reproductive technologies, Proceed With Care, resulted in the withdrawal of most IVF funding in Ontario, where prior to 1994 IVF was fully funded. Recommendations of the Commission to withdraw IVF funding were largely based on findings of the systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published before 1990. The review showed IVF effectiveness only in cases of bilateral tubal obstruction. As for nontubal causes of infertility, there was not enough evidence to establish whether IVF was effective or not.
Since the field of reproductive technology is constantly evolving, there have been several changes since the publication of the Royal Commission report. These changes include: increased success rates of IVF; introduction of ICSI in the early 1990’s as a treatment for male factor infertility; and improved embryo implantation rates allowing for the transfer of a single embryo to avoid multiple pregnancies after IVF.
Studies After the Royal Commission Report: Review Strategy
Three separate literature reviews were conducted in the following areas: clinical effectiveness of IVF, cost-effectiveness of IVF, and outcomes of single embryo transfer (SET) in IVF cycles.
Clinical effectiveness of IVF: RCTs or meta-analyses of RCTs that compared live birth rates after IVF versus alternative treatments, where the cause of infertility was clearly stated or it was possible to stratify the outcome by the cause of infertility.
Cost effectiveness of IVF: All relevant economic studies comparing IVF to alternative methods of treatment were reviewed
Outcomes of IVF with SET: RCTs or meta-analyses of RCTs that compared live birth rates and multiple birth rates associated with transfer of single versus double embryos.
OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment database, and websites of other health technology assessment agencies were searched using specific subject headings and keywords to identify relevant studies.
Summary of Findings
Comparative Clinical Effectiveness of IVF
Overall, there is a lack of well composed RCTs in this area and considerable diversity in both definition and measurement of outcomes exists between trials. Many studies used fertility or pregnancy rates instead of live birth rates. Moreover, the denominator for rate calculation varied from study to study (e.g. rates were calculated per cycle started, per cycle completed, per couple, etc...).
Nevertheless, few studies of sufficient quality were identified and categorized by the cause of infertility and existing alternatives to IVF. The following are the key findings:
A 2005 meta-analysis demonstrated that, in patients with idiopathic infertility, IVF was clearly superior to expectant management, but there were no statistically significant differences in live birth rates between IVF and IUI, nor between IVF and gamete-intra-Fallopian transfer.
A subset of data from a 2000 study showed no significant differences in pregnancy rates between IVF and IUI for moderate male factor infertility.
In patients with moderate male factor infertility, standard IVF was also compared with ICSI in a 2002 meta-analysis. All studies included in the meta-analysis showed superior fertilization rates with ICSI, and the pooled risk ratio for oocyte fertilization was 1.9 (95% Confidence Interval 1.4-2.5) in favour of ICSI. Two other RCTs in this area published after the 2002 meta-analysis had similar results and further confirmed these findings. There were no RCTs comparing IVF with ICSI in patients with severe male factor infertility, mainly because based on the expert opinion, ICSI might only be an effective treatment for severe male factor infertility.
Cost-Effectiveness of IVF
Five economic evaluations of IVF were found, including one comprehensive systematic review of 57 health economic studies. The studies compared cost-effectiveness of IVF with a number of alternatives such as observation, ovarian stimulation, IUI, tubal surgery, varicocelectomy, etc... The cost-effectiveness of IVF was analyzed separately for different types of infertility. Most of the reviewed studies concluded that due to the high cost, IVF has a less favourable cost-effectiveness profile compared with alternative treatment options. Therefore, IVF was not recommended as the first line of treatment in the majority of cases. The only two exceptions were bilateral tubal obstruction and severe male factor infertility, where an immediate offer of IVF/ICSI might the most cost-effective option.
Clinical Outcomes After Single Versus Double Embryo Transfer Strategies of IVF
Since the SET strategy has been more widely adopted in Europe, all RCT outcomes of SET were conducted in European countries. The major study in this area was a large 2005 meta-analysis, followed by two other published RCTs.
All of these studies reached similar conclusions:
Although a single SET cycle results in lower birth rates than a single double embryo transfer (DET) cycle, the cumulative birth rate after 2 cycles of SET (fresh + frozen-thawed embryos) was comparable to the birth rate after a single DET cycle (~40%).
SET was associated with a significant reduction in multiple births compared with DET (0.8% vs. 33.1% respectively in the largest RCT).
Most trials on SET included women younger than 36 years old with a sufficient number of embryos available for transfer that allowed for selection of the top quality embryo(s). A 2006 RCT, however, compared SET and DET strategies in an unselected group of patients without restrictions on the woman’s age or embryo quality. This study demonstrated that SET could be applied to older women.
Estimate of the Target Population
Based on results of the literature review and consultations with experts, four categories of infertile patients who may benefit from increased access to IVF/ICSI were identified:
Patients with severe male factor infertility, where IVF should be offered in conjunction with ICSI;
Infertile women with serious medical contraindications to multiple pregnancy, who should be offered IVF-SET;
Infertile patients who want to avoid the risk of multiple pregnancy and thus opt for IVF-SET; and
Patients who failed treatment with IUI and wish to try IVF.
Since, however, the latter indication does not reflect any new advances in IVF technology that would alter existing policy, it was not considered in this analysis.
Economic Analysis
Economic Review: Cost–Effectiveness of SET Versus DET
Conclusions of published studies on cost-effectiveness of SET versus DET were not consistent. While some studies found that SET strategy is more cost-effective due to avoidance of multiple pregnancies, other studies either did not find any significant differences in cost per birth between SET and DET, or favoured DET as a more cost-effective option.
Ontario-Based Economic Analysis
An Ontario-based economic analysis compared cost per birth using three treatment strategies: IUI, IVF-SET, and IVF-DET. A decision-tree model assumed three cycles for each treatment option. Two separate models were considered; the first included only fresh cycles of IVF, while the second had a combination of fresh and frozen cycles. Even after accounting for cost-savings due to avoidance of multiple pregnancies (only short-term complications), IVF-SET was still associated with a highest cost per birth. The approximate budget impact to cover the first three indications for IVF listed above (severe male factor infertility, women with medical contraindications to multiple pregnancy, and couples who wish to avoid the risk of multiple pregnancy) is estimated at $9.8 to $12.8 million (Cdn). Coverage of only first two indications, namely, ICSI in patients with severe male factor infertility and infertile women with serious medical contraindications to multiple pregnancy, is estimated at $3.8 to $5.5 million Cdn.
Other Considerations
International data shows that both IVF utilization and the average number of embryos transferred in IVF cycles are influenced by IVF funding policy. The success of the SET strategy in European countries is largely due to the fact that IVF treatment is subsidized by governments.
Surveys of patients with infertility demonstrated that a significant proportion (~40%) of patients not only do not mind having multiple babies, but consider twins being an ideal outcome of infertility treatment.
A women’s age may impose some restrictions on the implementation of a SET strategy.
Conclusions and Recommendations
A review of published studies has demonstrated that IVF-SET is an effective treatment for infertility that avoids multiple pregnancies.
However, results of an Ontario-based economic analysis shows that cost savings associated with a reduction in multiple pregnancies after IVF-SET does not justify the cost of universal IVF-SET coverage by the province. Moreover, the province currently funds IUI, which has been shown to be as effective as IVF for certain types of infertility and is significantly less expensive.
In patients with severe male factor infertility, IVF in conjunction with ICSI may be the only effective treatment.
Thus, 2 indications where additional IVF access should be considered include:
IVF/ICSI for patients with severe male factor infertility
IVF-SET in infertile women with serious medical contraindications to multiple pregnancy
PMCID: PMC3379537  PMID: 23074488
6.  Preterm delivery and low birth weight in singleton pregnancies conceived by women with and without a history of infertility 
Fertility and sterility  2012;98(3):681-686.e1.
Objective
To determine predictors of low birth weight (LBW) and preterm delivery (PTD) in singleton pregnancies conceived by women with and without a history of infertility.
Design
Retrospective cohort study.
Setting
Eleven infertility clinics in Northern California.
Patients
Three groups of women who carried singleton pregnancies to ≥ 20 weeks gestation: 542 infertile women who conceived after treatment, 441 infertile women who conceived spontaneously, and 1008 fertile women for comparison.
Interventions
Chart review.
Main Outcome Measures
Association of LBW or PTD with infertility treatment, maternal age, parity, obesity, or development of gestational diabetes.
Results
Infertile women who conceived with treatment were more likely to be obese, develop gestational diabetes, and have ovarian, ovulatory, or male factor infertility than infertile women who conceived spontaneously. Infertile women who conceived after treatment had 1.61 (95% CI 1.08– 2.41) times greater odds of having a LBW infant. Nulliparity was an independent predictor of LBW 1.54 (95% CI 1.09– 2.16) and PTD (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.20–2.49) in all three groups after controlling for maternal age, history of infertility, infertility treatment, obesity, and gestational diabetes.
Conclusions
Nulliparous women and women with a history of infertility who conceive a singleton after treatment may be at increased odds for having a LBW infant. Infertile women do not appear to be at increased odds for PTD.
doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.04.033
PMCID: PMC3430823  PMID: 22633266
infertility; obstetric; perinatal; outcomes; low birth weight; premature; preterm delivery
7.  A survey on depression among infertile women in Ghana 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:42.
Background
The desire of many young women to become parents may be influenced by the premium placed on children by society. In Africa, children are highly valued for social, cultural and economic reasons. Infertile and childless women in Africa are therefore confronted with a series of societal discrimination and stigmatization which may lead to psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. Even though some research has been done on the prevalence of infertility in Ghana, very little is known about the psychological impact of childlessness among infertile women. The present study aimed to examine prevalence and severity of depression in relation to age, type of infertility and duration of infertility in Ghanaian infertile women.
Methods
A total of 100 infertile women who met the selection criteria and had agreed to participate in the study were interviewed using the Beck Depression Inventory questionnaire from December 2012 to April 2013 at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Tamale/Ghana. Data concerning socio-demographic characteristics such as age, monthly income, duration of infertility, marital status, educational level, number of previous conception, number of previous children, religion, as well as occupation of the respondents were recorded.
Results
The prevalence of depression among the women was 62.0% with the level of depression showing a significant positive correlation with age of the women and the duration of infertility. The level of depression was significantly higher among subjects with low or no formal education and among the unemployed. Women with primary infertility also presented with high depression scores as measured by BDI.
Conclusions
In conclusion, the prevalence of depression among the infertile women is high, especially among infertile women age 26 and above, those who are less educated, those with primary infertility, as well as those who have been diagnosed as infertile for more than 3 years. Interventions to decrease and prevent the development of severe depression among these patients should be considered.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-42
PMCID: PMC3995861  PMID: 24612693
8.  Depression among Women with Primary Infertility attending an Infertility Clinic in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Rate, Severity, and Contributing Factors 
Background
Infertility is a severely distressing experience for many couples. Depression is considered as one of the main psychological disorders associated with infertility and it may significantly affect the life of infertile individuals, their treatment, and follow-up.
Objective
The objective of the study was to determining the prevalence and predisposing factors of depressive disorders among the infertile compared to fertile women.
Methodology
Rate of depression was explored by this cross-sectional study carried out among women attending In-Vitro Fertilization Clinic (91 infertile women) and Well Baby Clinic (94 fertile women) at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh, KSA.
Self administrated questionnaire including Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used. Mean BDI score was measured and its relation with different variables was explored, such as age, educational level, duration of infertility, pressure from family members, miscarriages and support from husband.
Results
This study showed that 49 (53.8%) of the infertile women and 35 (37.2%) of the fertile women had depression. Mean BDI score between infertile and fertile women was significantly different (p <0.001). Infertile women were found to be more severely depressed (p =0.014). Among the infertile women, those who had pressure from family members for not getting pregnant were more depressed than those with no such pressure (P=0.001).
Conclusion
Depression is more common and severe in infertile women than fertile women. Pressure from family to get pregnant is a significant contributor to depression. Caregivers should routinely screen infertile women for depression during and after treatment for infertility and manage concomitantly.
PMCID: PMC3521829  PMID: 23267288
Depression; Infertility
9.  A survey of relationship between anxiety, depression and duration of infertility 
BMC Women's Health  2004;4:9.
Background
A cross sectional study was designed to survey the relationship between anxiety/depression and duration/cause of infertility, in Vali-e-Asr Reproductive Health Research Center, Tehran, Iran.
Methods
After obtaining their consents, 370 female patients with different infertility causes participated in, and data gathered by Beck Depression Inventory(BDI) and Cattle questionnaires for surveying anxiety and depression due to the duration of infertility. This was studied in relation to patients' age, educational level, socio-economic status and job (patients and their husbands).
Results
Age range was 17–45 years and duration and cause of infertility was 1–20 years. This survey showed that 151 women (40.8%) had depression and 321 women (86.8%) had anxiety. Depression had a significant relation with cause of infertility, duration of infertility, educational level, and job of women. Anxiety had a significant relationship with duration of infertility and educational level, but not with cause of infertility, or job. Findings showed that anxiety and depression were most common after 4–6 years of infertility and especially severe depression could be found in those who had infertility for 7–9 years.
Conclusions
Adequate attention to these patients psychologically and treating them properly, is of great importance for their mental health and will improve quality of their lives.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-4-9
PMCID: PMC534113  PMID: 15530170
10.  Sexual, Marital, and Social Impact of a Man’s Perceived Infertility Diagnosis 
The journal of sexual medicine  2009;6(9):2505-2515.
Introduction
Male factor infertility is a relatively common problem. This diagnosis may increase sexual, marital, and relationship strain in male partners of infertile couples.
Aim
To measure the personal, social, sexual, and marital impacts of a male factor infertility diagnosis among men in couples evaluated for infertility.
Methods
Cross-sectional analysis of 357 men in infertile couples from eight academic and community-based fertility clinics. Participants completed written surveys and face-to-face and telephone interviews at study enrollment. This interview queried each participant’s perception of their infertility etiology to determine the primary study exposure (i.e., male factor only, male and female factors, female factor only, unknown).
Main Outcome Measures
Personal Impact, Social Impact, Marital Impact, and Sexual Impact scales.
Results
Among the 357 men, no male factor was reported in 47%, isolated male factor was present in 12%, combined male and female factors were present in 16%, and unexplained infertility was present in 25% of couples. Male factor infertility was independently associated with worse Sexual (mean 39 vs. 30, standard deviation [SD] 2.7, P = 0.004) and Personal (mean 37 vs. 29, SD 3.8, P = 0.04) Impact scores relative to men in couples without male factor infertility. These differences remained statistically significant after controlling for male age, partner age, race, religion, educational level, employment status, prior pregnancy, duration of infertility, and prior paternity.
Conclusions
Male partners in couples who perceive isolated male factor infertility have a lower sexual and personal quality of life compared with male partners of couples without perceived male factor infertility. Social strain is highest among couples without a clear etiology for infertility. These findings highlight the clinically significant negative sexual, personal, and social strains of a perceived infertility diagnosis for men.
doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01383.x
PMCID: PMC2888139  PMID: 19619144
Male Infertility; Sexual Dysfunction; Epidemiology; Infertile Couples
11.  Factors associated with adoption acceptance rate from the view point of infertile couples  
Background: Nowadays artificially assisted reproductive techniques are used to cure infertility. These methods are highly expensive, time-consuming and have low success rates which are usually around 20-40%. One of the best alternate methods for infertility treatment that can be considered is adoption that often decreases the treatment costs and the psychological impact within an infertile couple.
Objective: This study has been done with the aim of determining adoption acceptance rates and the effective factors of adoption in infertile couples.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed between October 2009-2010 on 200 infertile couples who had been referred to Infertility Center of Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences. Information gathered through face-to-face interview and questionnaires. The data analyzed through a SPSS software program using ANOVA test.
Results: There was a significant statistical relationship between adoption acceptance value scores and marriage duration of a couple (p=0.002 in men, p=0.004 in women) and presence of adoption backgrounds in male relatives (p=0.004). There was no statistically significant relationship between age, gender, education level, and onus of infertility, the number of previous referrals for an infertility solution and presence of adoption backgrounds in female relatives.
Conclusion: Adoption as an alternative option to infertility treatment need to be more considered as a medical, social and cultural issue.
PMCID: PMC4169677  PMID: 25246905
Infertility; Adoption; Artificially assisted reproductive techniques
12.  A Study on Psychological Strain in IVF Patients 
Purpose: The objectives of this study were to compareaverage stress levels in infertile women to fertile women, todetermine the stress levels whether the patients was pregnantor not pregnant, and to examine for a cross-section ofinfertile patients in different stages of medical investigation forthe infertility.
Methods: One hundred thirty-eight women receivingmedical treatment for infertility attended the program. The StateTrait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Beck DepressionInventory (BDI) of perceived stress associated with theinfertility was the outcome measure.
Results: Infertile women showed significant increases intrait anxiety and depressive symptoms than the fertilewomen. Anxiety and depression in the in vitro fertilization(IVF)-failed women were significantly higher than theIVF-success women. According to the duration of infertility, STAIand BDI were moderately elevated in the first stage(< 3 year). There was a trend of a decreasing psychological stresswith an advanced infertility duration. On depression scales,the intermediate and final duration of infertility patientsshowed less symptomatology than the first-stage patients.Contrary to the expectation, demographic factors such asreligion and husband cooperation were not related to theexperience of stress.
Conclusions: We must pay an attention to the infertilepatient, especially from the initial infertility workup. Werecommend psychological counselling for IVF-failedpatients.
doi:10.1023/A:1009417302758
PMCID: PMC3455575  PMID: 11062855
Psychological stress; infertile women
13.  Male infertility in long-term survivors of pediatric cancer: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study 
Purpose
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of male infertility and treatment-related risk factors in childhood cancer survivors.
Methods
Within the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, 1622 survivors and 274 siblings completed the Male Health Questionnaire. The analysis was restricted to survivors (938/1622; 57.8%) and siblings (174/274; 63.5%) who tried to become pregnant. Relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the prevalence of self-reported infertility were calculated using generalized linear models for demographic variables and treatment-related factors to account for correlation among survivors and siblings of the same family. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
Among those who provided self-report data, the prevalence of infertility was 46.0% in survivors versus 17.5% in siblings (RR=2.64, 95% CI 1.88-3.70, p < 0.001). Of survivors who met the definition for infertility, 37% had reported at least one pregnancy with a female partner that resulted in a live birth. In a multivariable analysis, risk factors for infertility included an alkylating agent dose score (AAD) ≥ 3 (RR= 2.13, 95% CI 1.69-2.68 for AAD ≥ 3 versus AAD<3), surgical excision of any organ of the genital tract (RR=1.63, 95% CI 1.20-2.21), testicular radiation ≥ 4Gy (RR=1.99, 95% CI 1.52-2.61), and exposure to bleomycin (RR=1.55, 95% CI 1.20-2.01).
Conclusion
Many survivors who experience infertility father their own children suggesting episodes of both fertility and infertility. This and the novel association of infertility with bleomycin warrant further investigation.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
Though infertility is common, male survivors reporting infertility often father their own children. Bleomycin may pose some fertility risk.
doi:10.1007/s11764-014-0354-6
PMCID: PMC4276596  PMID: 24711092
infertility; cancer; male; long-term survivors; pediatrics
14.  Psychological Evaluation Test for Infertile Couples 
Purpose: The infertility can lead to various emotional changes (anxiety, depression, somatization, aggressiveness, etc.). The objective of the present study was to develop a psychological evaluation test (PET) in an attempt to identify couples requiring psychological support when they face the problem of infertility.
Material and methods: A total of 251 infertile couples were submitted to the PET of the Center for Human Reproduction, “Sinhá Junqueira” Maternity Foundation. The causes of infertility were male-related in 45% of cases, female-related in 48%, and both male- and female-related in 7%. Infertility was primary in 74% of cases and secondary in 26%. The mean age of the women was 34 ± 4.2 years and the mean age of the men was 36.8 ± 6.5 years. The PET of the infertile couples was evaluated using a questionnaire with 15 questions selected in order to detect emotional reactions. The responses were assigned four grades with respect to frequency (1 = never or rarely; 2 = sometimes; 3 = many times, and 4 = always). The sum of the responses corresponded to a PET score ranging from 15 to 60 points. A PET score of >30 points was defined as cut-off point for necessity of specialized psychological evaluation. Data were analyzed statistically by the Student's t test and the Mann–Whitney and Fisher tests, with the level of significance set at 5%. The reliability of the questionnaires was determined on the basis of the alpha coefficient of Cronbach.
Results: The mean PET score for women (27 ± 8) was significantly higher (p < 0.01, Mann–Whitney test) than the PET score for men (22 ± 7). The alpha coefficient of Cronbach was 0.88, and was identical for the female and male questionnaires.
Conclusions: The data demonstrate that one of the characteristics of Brazilian infertile couples is that women are habitually more affected by the situation of infertility than men. The PET is a simple and efficient tool for the identification of women and/or men requiring psychological support due to infertility. The team of the Center for Human Reproduction (employees, biologists, nurses, doctors etc.) has started to use the information provided by the PET in the daily routine, and all patients are informed and counseled about the factors generating emotional changes in infertility. Advice is provided (practicing sports, traveling, activating personal projects etc.) in order to help combat distress. A specialized psychological evaluation was indicated in selected cases (PET score >30 points).
doi:10.1023/A:1015706829102
PMCID: PMC3455219  PMID: 12166631
Infertility; psychological evaluation; test
15.  The risk factor profile of women with secondary infertility: an unmatched case-control study in Kigali, Rwanda 
BMC Women's Health  2011;11:32.
Background
Secondary infertility is a common, preventable but neglected reproductive health problem in resource-poor countries. This study examines the association of past sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and factors in the obstetric history with secondary infertility and their relative contributions to secondary infertility.
Methods
Between November 2007 and May 2009 a research infertility clinic was set up at the Kigali University Teaching Hospital in Rwanda. Cases were defined as sexually-active women aged 21-45 years presenting with secondary infertility (n = 177), and controls as multiparous women in the same age groups who recently delivered (n = 219). Participants were interviewed about socio-demographic characteristics and obstetric history using structured questionnaires, and were tested for HIV and reproductive tract infections (RTIs).
Results
Risk factors in the obstetric history for secondary infertility were lack of prenatal care in the last pregnancy, the first pregnancy before the age of 21 years, a history of unwanted pregnancy, a pregnancy with other than current partner, an adverse pregnancy outcome, stillbirth, postpartum infection and curettage. Presence of HIV, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), or Treponema pallidum antibodies, and bacterial vaginosis (BV), were significantly more common in women in secondary infertile relationships than those in fertile relationships. The population attributable fractions (PAF%) for obstetric events, HIV, other (STIs), and BV were 25%, 30%, 27%, and 14% respectively.
Conclusions
The main finding of this study is that obstetric events, HIV and other STIs contribute approximately equally to secondary infertility in Rwanda. Scaling up of HIV/STI prevention, increased access to family planning services, improvement of prenatal and obstetric care and reduction of stillbirth and infant mortality rates are all likely to decrease secondary infertility in sub-Saharan Africa.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-11-32
PMCID: PMC3142220  PMID: 21702916
16.  Unexplained Infertility Treated with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in Korea 
Aim
We aim to determine the safety and effectiveness of a standard therapeutic package of Korean medicine for the treatment of unexplained infertility in a cross-section of women who sought treatment at an integrative hospital in Seoul, Korea.
Background
Infertility affects more than 1.2 million women in the United States alone. Treatment options for infertility vary, yet the barriers of invasiveness, cost, and access inhibit treatment use for many women. Alternative medical approaches exist for this indication, and sustain certain popularity. Therefore, we systematically studied a standard therapeutic package of Korean medicine to treat unexplained infertility in women.
Methods
Female participants included in this observational study met inclusion criteria before receiving a set of treatments including herbal medicine, acupuncture, and moxibustion. A study physician screened each patient in accordance with inclusion criteria, provided study information, and after the patients consented, performed the baseline assessment. Assessments included age, the history of assisted reproductive technology, and duration of infertility. The key outcome measure included the number who achieved pregnancy and any neo-natal morbidity and mortality at follow-up stage for those who got pregnant. Any other adverse events including aggravation of existing symptoms, and the number of dropouts, were recorded. Treatments were supposed to be completed after 6 menstrual cycles between February 2005 and April 2006.
Results
One hundred and four (104) women with unexplained infertility were included in this observational study. Participant mean age was 32 years (SD: 2.7), with a range between 26 and 41 years. The median duration of infertility after diagnosis was 33.5 weeks (interquartile range: 20.8–50.3). In total, 41 participants (39.4%) had undergone a mean number of 1.4 (SD: 2.2) assisted reproductive technology treatments prior to joining the study. The number of patients remaining in or achieving pregnancy throughout the 6-month study period was 23 (14 pregnancies), 22.1%. Six (6) participants (4.8%) reported minor adverse events including rash in the face (n = 1), diarrhea (n = 2), dizziness (n = 1), and heartburn (n = 2). Of the 14 pregnancies, there were 10 normal births, and 4 miscarriages; otherwise, no neonatal morbidity/mortality occurred. According to per protocol analysis, 14 pregnancies out of 23 total were achieved by those who remained for the entire six menstruation cycle treatments, yielding a pregnancy rate of 60.9%.
Conclusions
The standard therapeutic package for unexplained infertility in women studied here is safe for infants and the treated women, when administered by licensed professionals. While it remains challenging to have the target population complete a 6-month treatment course, during which most patients have to pay out of pocket, the extent of successfully achieved pregnancy in those who received full treatment provides meaningful outcomes, warranting further attention. A future study that includes subsidized treatment costs, encouraging the appropriate compliance rate, is warranted.
doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0600
PMCID: PMC2918430  PMID: 20180693
17.  Unexplained Infertility Treated with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in Korea 
Abstract
Aim
We aim to determine the safety and effectiveness of a standard therapeutic package of Korean medicine for the treatment of unexplained infertility in a cross-section of women who sought treatment at an integrative hospital in Seoul, Korea.
Background
Infertility affects more than 1.2 million women in the United States alone. Treatment options for infertility vary, yet the barriers of invasiveness, cost, and access inhibit treatment use for many women. Alternative medical approaches exist for this indication, and sustain certain popularity. Therefore, we systematically studied a standard therapeutic package of Korean medicine to treat unexplained infertility in women.
Methods
Female participants included in this observational study met inclusion criteria before receiving a set of treatments including herbal medicine, acupuncture, and moxibustion. A study physician screened each patient in accordance with inclusion criteria, provided study information, and after the patients consented, performed the baseline assessment. Assessments included age, the history of assisted reproductive technology, and duration of infertility. The key outcome measure included the number who achieved pregnancy and any neo-natal morbidity and mortality at follow-up stage for those who got pregnant. Any other adverse events including aggravation of existing symptoms, and the number of dropouts, were recorded. Treatments were supposed to be completed after 6 menstrual cycles between February 2005 and April 2006.
Results
One hundred and four (104) women with unexplained infertility were included in this observational study. Participant mean age was 32 years (SD: 2.7), with a range between 26 and 41 years. The median duration of infertility after diagnosis was 33.5 weeks (interquartile range: 20.8–50.3). In total, 41 participants (39.4%) had undergone a mean number of 1.4 (SD: 2.2) assisted reproductive technology treatments prior to joining the study. The number of patients remaining in or achieving pregnancy throughout the 6-month study period was 23 (14 pregnancies), 22.1%. Six (6) participants (4.8%) reported minor adverse events including rash in the face (n = 1), diarrhea (n = 2), dizziness (n = 1), and heartburn (n = 2). Of the 14 pregnancies, there were 10 normal births, and 4 miscarriages; otherwise, no neonatal morbidity/mortality occurred. According to per protocol analysis, 14 pregnancies out of 23 total were achieved by those who remained for the entire six menstruation cycle treatments, yielding a pregnancy rate of 60.9%.
Conclusions
The standard therapeutic package for unexplained infertility in women studied here is safe for infants and the treated women, when administered by licensed professionals. While it remains challenging to have the target population complete a 6-month treatment course, during which most patients have to pay out of pocket, the extent of successfully achieved pregnancy in those who received full treatment provides meaningful outcomes, warranting further attention. A future study that includes subsidized treatment costs, encouraging the appropriate compliance rate, is warranted.
doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0600
PMCID: PMC2918430  PMID: 20180693
18.  Health-Related Quality of Life and its Predictive Factors among Infertile Women 
Journal of Caring Sciences  2012;1(3):159-164.
Introduction: The present study aimed to determine health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and its predictive factors among infertile women. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on infertile women referring to Majidi Infertility Center (Tabriz, Iran). The data was collected through self-administered questionnaires including clinical and demographic characteristics and the Persian version of 36-item short form health survey (SF-36). One-sample t-test, independent t-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and logistic regression were used for data analysis. Results: Overall, 1012 infertile women were studied. The quality of life scores of infertile women in all eight subscales were significantly lower than normative data for Iranian women. Low physical component summary was more frequent in younger [adjusted odds ratio (AOR):1.45; 95% CI: 1.07-1.96], less educated (AOR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.27-2.41), and low income (AOR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.06-2.16) participants. It was less frequent in individuals whose infertility duration was 3-9 years (AOR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.48-0.86), had male (AOR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.43-0.78) or female and male factors infertility (AOR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.30-0.78), or had a history of 1-2 in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Low mental component summary was associated with low income (AOR: 1.56; 95% CI: 1.11-2.18) and unexplained cause of infertility (AOR: 0.52; 95% CI: 0.32-0.56). Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated low quality of life among infertile women. The findings suggested the need for providing this group, especially those at higher risk such as low educated or low income females, with necessary support.
doi:10.5681/jcs.2012.023
PMCID: PMC4161078  PMID: 25276691
Quality of life; Infertility; Predictive factors; Women
19.  Evaluation of serum antisperm antibodies in infertility 
Aims and Objective
To evaluate the role of serum antisperm antibody (ASA) in infertility.
Method and Material
This study was conducted in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pt. J.N.M. Medical College, Raipur (C.G.), India, from December 2006 to July 2008 over 105 selected couples with primary and secondary infertility attending the infertility clinic. Their detailed clinical history was taken. Physical examination and routine as well as special investigations like pelvic USG, follicular study, and hysterosalpingography were done in the female. Complete physical examination and semen analysis of male partners were done. Couples were subjected to post coital test (PCT) 2–6 hours after intercourse to rule out cervical factor. Serum ASA titer in both partners was detected by ELISA. Results were interpreted for qualitative evaluation. ASA-positive cases were treated with low-dose daily oral prednisolone for 3 months and evaluated in terms of ASA titer, semen analysis, PCT result, and conception rate. The results were analyzed by statistical methods.
Results
Out of 105 couples, serum ASA-positive males were 38 (39.19%), of which definite serum ASA positive were 9 (8.57%), borderline (equivocal) were 29 (27.61%), and negative were 67 (63.08%). Among females serum ASA positive were 42 (40%), in which definite ASA positive were 19 (18.09%), borderline 23 (21.9%), and negative 63 (60%). Asthenospermia was found more common in ASA-positive men (55.56%, p=0.0001). Poor PCT was most commonly associated in husband ASA negative and wife ASA positive. Treatment with low-dose oral prednisolone resulted in significant increase in motility of sperms in male partners and decrease in ASA titer in both the patients. Pregnancy was achieved in 45.23% ASA-positive females, while among couples with ASA-positive husbands, 31.57% of wives conceived.
Conclusion
Serum ASA are considered to be cause of unexplained infertility and unexplained abnormal PCT. Antibodies against sperm prevent their motility through female reproductive tract and hamper the process of fertilization. Low-dose prednisolone was useful in infertility associated with ASA by improving sperm quality and giving rise to pregnancies.
doi:10.1007/s13224-011-0034-7
PMCID: PMC3394564
serum antisperm antibody; post coital test; ELISA
20.  Investigation of the prevalence of female genital tract tuberculosis and its relation to female infertility:An observational analytical study 
Background: Genital tuberculosis is a common entity in gynecological practice particularly among infertile patients. It is rare in developed countries but is an important cause of infertility in developing countries.
Objective: The present study has investigated the prevalence of female genital tract tuberculosis (FGT) among infertile patients, which was conducted at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit-I, Allied Hospital, affiliated with Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Materials and Methods: 150 infertile women who were referred to infertility clinic were selected randomly and enrolled in our study. Patients were scanned for possible presence of FGT by examination and relevant investigation. We evaluated various aspects (age, symptoms, signs, and socio-economic factors) of the patients having tuberculosis.
Results: Very high frequency of FGT (20%) was found among infertile patients. While, a total of 25 patients out of 30 (83.33%) showed primary infertility and the remaining 5 cases (16.67%) had secondary infertility. Among secondary infertility patients, the parity ranged between 1 and 2. A total of 40% of patients (12 cases) were asymptomatic but infertile. Evidence of family history was found in 4 out of a total of 30 patients (13.3%), respectively. According to histopathological and bacteriological examination of endometrial biopsy and laparotomy, tuberculous endometritis was found in 20 out of a total of 25 (80%) cases, while tuberculous salpingitis and tuberculous oophoritis were found both in 2 (8%) of the cases, respectively. Only one case (4%) of tuberculosis cervicitis was found in the present study.
Conclusion: Although infertility is not a disease in classical sense, but it is an extremely important personal concern for many couples and a significant health problem for our profession. So, it is worthwhile to identify and evaluate the factors contributing to infertility.
PMCID: PMC4169853  PMID: 25246930
Female genital tract; Tuberculosis; Tuberculous oophoritis; Cervicitis; Endometrial biopsy
21.  Prevalence and factors associated with use of herbal medicine among women attending an infertility clinic in Uganda 
Background
Infertility is a public health problem associated with devastating psychosocial consequences. In countries where infertility care is difficult to access, women turn to herbal medicines to achieve parenthood. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with herbal medicine use by women attending the infertility clinic.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study of 260 women attending the infertility clinic at Mulago hospital. The interviewer administered questionnaire comprised socio-demographic characteristics, infertility-related aspects and information on herbal medicine use. The main outcome measure was herbal medicines use for infertility treatment. Determinants of herbal medicine use were assessed using multivariable logistic regression.
Results
The majority (76.2%) of respondents had used herbal medicines for infertility treatment. The mean age of the participants was 28.3 years ± 5.5. Over 80% were married, 59.6% had secondary infertility and 2/3 of the married participants were in monogamous unions. In a multivariable model, the variables that were independently associated with increased use of herbal medicine among infertile patients were being married (OR 2.55, CI 1.24-5.24), never conceived (OR 4.08 CI 1.86-8.96) and infertility for less than 3 years (OR 3.52 CI 1.51-8.821). Factors that were associated with less use of herbal medicine among infertile women were being aged 30 years or less (OR 0.18 CI 0.07-0.46), primary and no education (OR 0.12 CI 0.05-0.46) and living with partner for less than three years (OR 0.39 CI 0.16-0.93).
Conclusions
The prevalence of herbal medicine use among women attending the infertility clinic was 76.2%. Herbal medicine use was associated with the participants’ age, level of education, marital status, infertility duration, nulliparity, and duration of marriage. Medical care was often delayed and the majority of the participants did not disclose use of herbal medicines to the attending physician. Health professionals should enquire about use of herbal medicines. This may help in educating the patients about the health risks of using herbal medicine and may reduce delays in seeking appropriate care. Collaboration of health professionals with herbal medicine practitioners would help identify the common herbal medicines used for infertility treatment, their potential benefits and harm.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-27
PMCID: PMC3898407  PMID: 24433549
Herbal medicine; Infertility; Uganda Sub-Saharan Africa; Traditional medicine
22.  The Impact of Emotionally Focused Therapy on Emotional Distress in Infertile Couples 
Background:
The present study investigated the effect of emotionally focused therapy (EFT) on factors contributing to emotional distress among infertile couples.
Materials and Methods:
In this semi-experimental study, the subjects consisted of 12 Iranian couples: six infertile men and six infertile women. They were assessed as depressed, anxious and stressful individuals using depression, anxiety and stress scale (DASS). The subjects were randomly divided into control and experimental groups. The experimental group with six couples (i.e. three infertile men and three infertile women) received EFT, while the control group with similar number of couples (i.e. three infertile men and three infertile women) was deprived of the treatment.
Results:
There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding job, educational level, income, age, marriage and infertility duration. The pre- and post-test comparisons of DASS subscales showed that level of depression, anxiety and stress among couples with EFT instruction was significantly less than those without such in- structions (p<0.0001).
Conclusion
Emotionally focused therapy could reduce the rate of depression, anxiety and stress in infertile couples, regardless of the man or woman as the cause of infertility.
PMCID: PMC3901179  PMID: 24520504
Depression; Anxiety; Stress; Infertility
23.  Smaller fetal size in singletons after infertility therapies: The influence of technology and the underlying infertility 
Fertility and sterility  2011;96(5):1100-1106.
Objective
To determine whether fetal size differences exist between matched fertile and infertile women and among women with infertility achieving pregnancy through various treatment modalities.
Design
Retrospective cohort study with propensity score analysis
Setting
Tertiary care center and affiliated community hospitals
Patients
1246 fertile and 461 infertile healthy women with singleton live-births over a ten-year period. Infertile women conceived 1) without medical assistance (WMA), 2) with ovulation induction (OI), or 3) with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Birthweight; secondary outcomes included crown rump length, second trimester estimated fetal weight, and incidence of low birth weight (LBW) and preterm delivery.
Results
Compared to matched fertile women, infertile women had smaller neonates at birth (3375±21 vs. 3231±21 grams; p<0.0001) and more LBW infants (RR=1.68, 95% CI 1.06, 2.67). Neonates conceived via OI were the smallest of infertility subgroups compared to those of fertile women (3092 ± 46 vs. 3397 ± 44 grams; p<0.001). First trimester fetal size was smaller in infertile vs. fertile women (CRL 7.9±0.1 vs. 8.5±0.1 mm, p<0.01). Within infertility subgroups, no differences in fetal or neonatal size were found.
Conclusions
The inherent pathologic processes associated with infertility may have a larger impact on fetal growth than infertility therapies.
doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.08.038
PMCID: PMC3212582  PMID: 21944928
IVF or ART; fetal size; birthweight; infertility; ovulation induction
24.  The incidence of preeclampsia in ICSI pregnancies  
Objective: We aimed to evaluate the association between infertility etiology in ICSI pregnancies and preeclampsia; besides, we aimed to discuss the effect of the paternal factor in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.
Hypothesis:We hypothesized that preeclampsia is more common in ICSI pregnancies with male factor. It is known that maternal exposure to paternal sperm cells over a time period has a protective effect against preeclampsia. Male partners with azospermia have no sperm cells in their seminal fluid, whose female partners will not be able to develop some protective immunity against preeclampsia. We hypothesized that the infertile couples with male factor (partner with azoospermia and also oligospermia) would be an ideal model to test the partner-specific protective immunity against preeclampsia, as the women had no chance to develop adequate protective immunity via the partner’s sperm exposure.
Methods: This Single-center, retrospective study included 508 infertile couples admitted to our IVF center between January 2001 and March 2008. The data regarding the maternal age, etiology of the infertility, the pregnancy rates, abortus ratio and viable pregnancy rates was collected from the case files. Antenatal complications such as preeclampsia, placenta previa, abruptio placenta, premature rupture of membranes, premature labor, oligohydramnios, gestational diabetes, postmaturity, postpartum complications and neonatal outcomes were evaluated via the file records and phone interviewing. The study population was divided into two main groups according to the etiology of infertility. 301 of the study population (group 1) was infertile due to male factor and 207 of the study population (group 2) was female factor and unexplained infertility cases.Group 1 patients were divided further into two subgroups: group 1a included 56 cases in which TESE (testicular sperm extraction) was used to obtain the sperm cells as the male factor was severe and as there was no sperm cells in seminal fluid. Group 1 b consists of 245oligospermic cases who obtained sperm cells via conventional methods.
Results: The mean ages of women in Group one and two were 30.22±5.06 and 31.58±4.36 years respectively (p=0.001). 129 cases (42,8%) from group one and 106 cases (51,2%) from Group two ended in first trimester and early second trimester (<24 gestational weeks) pregnancy loss. In group one, only 172 cases of 301 pregnancies passed over 24 weeks of gestational age, whereas in group two, 101 cases of 207 patients passed over 24 gestational weeks. There was no significant difference between two groups regarding chemical pregnancies and early pregnancy loss (p=0.314). There was no significant difference between the groups regarding placenta previa, gestational diabetes, oligo hydramnios and intrauterine growth retardation. One one pregnancy was 1.5 times more vulnerable for preeclampsia.
Conclusion: Pregnancies with azoospermic and oligospermic partners had an increased risk for developing preeclampsia.
doi:10.12669/pjms.301.3982
PMCID: PMC3955551  PMID: 24639840
Preeclampsia; Etiology; Paternal factor; Infertility
25.  The status of depression and anxiety in infertile Turkish couples 
Background: Infertility is a major psychosocial crisis as well as being a medical problem. The factors that predict psychosocial consequences of infertility may vary in different gender and different infertile populations.
Objective: The primary purpose of this study was to investigate whether Turkish infertile couples had higher levels of depression and anxiety when compared to non-infertile couples. Our secondary aim was to evaluate the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and levels of depression and anxiety in Turkish infertile couples.
Materials and Methods: We designed a descriptive cross sectional study of 248 infertile women and 96 infertile men with no psychiatric disturbance and 51 women and 40 men who have children to evaluate the depression and anxiety levels between infertile couples and fertile couples. A gynecologist evaluated participants for demographic data and then they were visited by a psychologist to perform questionnaire scales which were The Beck Depression Inventory and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for the evaluation of the degree of psychopathology. The data were statistically analyzed, with p<0.05 as the level of statistical significance.
Results: We observed significant differences between the infertile couples and fertile couples with respect to state and trait anxiety (p<0.0001) while no difference was regarding with depression, both of women and men. Anxiety and depression were observed as independent from gender when infertile women and men were compared (p=0.213).
Conclusion: We believed that the psychological management at infertile couples must be individualized with cultural, religious, and class related aspects.
PMCID: PMC4216443  PMID: 25587255
Depression; Anxiety; Infertility

Results 1-25 (1279763)