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Fertil Steril. 2009 Mar;91(3):851-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.01.021. Epub 2008 Mar 7.

Depressive symptoms during late pregnancy and early parenthood following assisted reproductive technology.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the relationship between assisted reproduction technology (ART) and depressive symptoms during late pregnancy and early parenthood.

DESIGN:

Case-control longitudinal study.

SETTING:

The Center of Reproductive Medicine, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

PATIENT(S):

Women who conceived by ART compared with men and compared with women following spontaneous conceptions.

INTERVENTION(S):

The sample of 87 subjects, 48 ART (25 mothers, 23 fathers; response rate of 30%) and 39 non-ART mothers were evaluated by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 30-32 weeks of gestation, and at 1 week and 3 months after delivery.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Mean scores and prevalence of low scores.

RESULT(S):

The main sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics were similar between groups. Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale scores were higher in ART women compared with non-ART women during all assessments and higher during the third trimester of pregnancy and at 1 week postpartum compared with ART men. The prevalence of depressed subjects was significantly higher in ART women compared with non-ART women during the antenatal assessment.

CONCLUSION(S):

Assisted reproductive technology pregnancies are more frequently associated with depressive symptoms that may persist after delivery, suggesting a greater emotional vulnerability of these women. The risk of depression during and following ART pregnancies needs monitoring to avoid adverse effects of postpartum depression on the mother-infant relationship and infant's psychologic development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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