Psychological characteristics of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization treatment
Part of symposium: “Interdisciplinary Investigations of Early Child Development”
Chairs: Yulia Kovas and Elena Grigorenko
Abstract submitted from the Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioural Genetics, International Centre for Research in Human Development, Tomsk State University.
Title: Psychological characteristics of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization treatment
Olga Terekhina1*, Tatiana Bokhan1, Anna Ulianich1, Marina Shabalovskaya1, Maria G. Tosto2 , & Yulia Kovas1, 2,
1Tomsk State University, Tomsk Russia
2Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, UK
Research into psychological characteristics of women preparing for motherhood after IVF treatment has important practical implications. Psychological characteristics can mediate the level of stress associated with the experience of infertility, cause psychogenic forms of infertility, and moderate psychological consequences of infertility. In turn, these consequences may affect treatment outcomes, act as etiological factors in the development of borderline mental disorders, determine the success of childbirth and influence subsequent development of the child. Despite stressful conditions leading to IVF treatment and the stress of the treatment itself, there are large individual differences in psychological states among women during this period. The sources of these differences remain poorly understood.
The study involved 214 women diagnosed with infertility, undergoing IVF treatment. Women filled out questionnaires using the following diagnostic tools: The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), the Spielberg-Hanin scale of anxiety, the Beck Depression Inventory, and a questionnaire about reproductive motives "My pregnancy".
The results showed that mental state of the majority of women undergoing IVF treatment was characterized by an acceptable level of anxiety, aggression and rigidity, and good resistance to failures and difficulties. Only 30% of women showed symptoms of minimal, mild, moderate, and in rare cases – severe depression. However, the majority of women in showed high level of trait anxiety. The dominant reproductive motives for this group included: "For social status”, “For the feelings of motherhood", and "To fulfill the need for love".
Significant correlations between the length of planning time and level of frustration among women were identified. However, the women did not differ in their psychological characteristics as a function of the number of treatment attempts and success of the treatment.
The results are discussed in the context of existing literature and the latent factor structure of mental states, trait anxiety and reproductive motives that emerged from the data.