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Posted by on Dec 31, 2019 in Infertility | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated if depression and anxiety disorders (DAD) can affect pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing IVF. 

They found that DAD in early pregnancy was associated with low birth weight (LBW) in the baby. 

Some background

Assisted reproductive techniques (ART) are used to treat infertility. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an ART. Improving IVF success is important. Many patients undergoing IVF experience stress. In some cases, this can lead to depression and anxiety disorders (DAD). Some women may develop DADs before pregnancy. 

DAD is associated with poor outcomes in natural pregnancy. Depression can increase the risk of negative infant outcomes. This includes low birth weight (LBW) and preterm delivery (PTD). Women undergoing IVF are under additional psychological stress. The level of psychological stress can lead to these women developing DAD. The effect of this on pregnancy is unknown. It is unclear if DAD has an effect on pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing IVF.

Methods & findings

This study included 5661 women undergoing IVF. Women were assessed for DADs. This was done using the self-rating depression (SDS) and anxiety (SAS) scales. This was performed during ovarian stimulation before IVF. It was repeated at week 11 or 12 of the pregnancy. Pregnancy outcomes were assessed. The main pregnancy outcomes included LBW, PTD and gestational age (GSA; pregnancy age)

10.3% of women had DAD before IVF. Lower fertilization rates were observed in women with DADs before IVF. Women with DADs during pregnancy had 2.5 times higher rates of LBW. These women also had a higher risk of PTD

The bottom line

The authors concluded that depression and anxiety in early pregnancy were associated with low birth weight in women undergoing IVF.

The fine print

DADs were assessed by the patient. This could have biased the results. The effect of stress on male fertility has not been accounted for in this study. More studies are needed. 

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding infertility please consult with your doctor. 

Published By :

Reproductive BioMedicine Online

Date :

Dec 01, 2019

Original Title :

First trimester depression and/or anxiety disorders increase the risk of low birthweight in IVF offspring: a prospective cohort study.

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