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Title: Impact of emotional health on pregnancy rates following assisted conception
Author: Tamhankar, Vidya
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 1137
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Infertility can be stressful and hence it is important to know whether this stress can affect the success of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Several studies have suggested a link between stress and reproduction. A systematic literature review concluded that the available evidence is inconclusive due to methodological limitations. It highlighted the need for a prospective well-designed study to examine the impact of emotional health on IVF outcome. Fertility specific tools were critically analysed in order to choose an appropriate instrument for the study. A prospective study was designed to evaluate the emotional health and distress prior to treatment. The questionnaires used were Emotional health in infertility (EM-INFERT) and Fertility problem inventory (FPI). The primary objective was to correlate the emotional health scores to the pregnancy rates. 414 IVF patients were divided into three tertiles as per their EM-INFERT scores: poor emotional health (n=140), average emotional health (n=139) and high emotional health (n=135). Clinical pregnancy in patients with low emotional health was statistically similar to patients with high emotional health. The emotional health scores did not predict the success of IVF. Further analysis explored the impact of IVF on the emotional health of infertile couples. The luteal phase was more distressing than the ovarian stimulation phase. Men had better emotional health than women throughout the treatment but both partners had a significant drop in their emotional health after a negative result. The fertility-related distress can be affected by the duration and cause of infertility. This study confirms that emotional health does not influence success of IVF but it identified patients who are at risk of significant distress during IVF. Addressing this, could make their journey a better experience and reduce dropout rates. The results of this study can help to design psychological interventions tailored to the individual needs of these patients.
Supervisor: Metwally, Mostafa ; Jones, Georgina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available