Psychological studies of in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer participants


During the last decade, reproductive endocrinology has provided new technologies for treatment of infertility–one of which is in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer (IVF/ET). The use of this technology has been accompanied by considerable interest in understanding the psychology of those seeking IVF/ET and in understanding psychological reactions during and after IVF/ET. This paper reviews the psychological research within the IVF/ET literature as divided into three major areas: first, psychological profiles of women and their partners requesting IVF/ET; second, clinical reports which describe the psychological experience of IVF/ET and provide recommendations for counseling both before and during IVF/ET; and third, follow-up studies of IVF/ET participants. This paper is designed to highlight initial findings in these three areas of research and thus provide a context for future research directions. Specific suggestions for future study include redirecting research effort from investigations of psychopathology to detecting stress which may affect IVF/ET outcome.


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