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Womens Mood Plays a Key Role in Infertility Treatment

A study of womens moods during IVF has found a strong relationship between negative mood and multiple embryo transfer.Dr Christopher Newton of the University Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre , London, Canada, said that his work could lead to better understanding of the importance of couples emotional health during IVF treatment, and the effect this has on their decision-making.

A reduction in the incidence of multiple pregnancies with IVF requires the transfer of fewer, and ideally only one, embryo (single embryo transfer, or SET). However, many women resist SET because they either favour a multiple pregnancy, or prefer to accept the risk rather than take the chance of not getting pregnant.

Research quite unrelated to infertility for example, in gambling or playing the lottery - had shown that decision-making could be influenced by particular mood states and by the individual tendencies of some people to engage in greater risk taking behaviour, said Dr Newton. We decided to see whether this was equally applicable in assisted reproduction.

The team asked 129 female infertility patients to undertake a standardised questionnaire, the Profile of Mood States (POMS), one month before hospital UVF treatment.

POMS measures such transient moods as anxiety, depression, anger and fatigue, and provides a total score of overall distress. The women also completed a Fertility Problem Inventory (FPI), that assesses and measures infertility-specific social, sexual, and relationship stress.

Finally, the women were asked to rate the desirability of having a twin or triplet versus a singleton pregnancy; the perceived likelihood or a twin or singleton pregnancy; and the desirability of SET.

Risk taking behaviour was measured by asking women to make a graded endorsement of a lower risk versus a higher risk option SET versus two embryo transfer (2ET), and 2ET versus three embryo transfer (3ET),
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