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



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


Case-control longitudinal study.


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


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


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.


Mean scores and prevalence of low scores.


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.


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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