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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2015 May-Jun;44(3):380-8. doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12573. Epub 2015 Mar 28.

Self-report of eating disorder symptoms among women with and without infertility.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare eating disorder (ED) symptoms in women seeking treatment for infertility to women receiving routine primary care.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional comparative design.

SETTING:

Women were recruited from two infertility centers and a general hospital primary care setting.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants included 51 women seeking treatment for ovulatory and unexplained infertility and 34 women attending routine primary care.

MEASURES:

Participants completed a battery of standardized rating scales measuring self-reported ED symptoms, drive for thinness, bulimic symptoms, body dissatisfaction, and related clinical characteristics.

RESULTS:

Multivariate analysis of covariance confirmed that women seeking treatment for infertility had significantly greater scores on measures of drive for thinness (p = .001) and bulimic symptoms (p = .002) than those receiving routine primary care. However, the comparison group had significantly greater scores on measures of body dissatisfaction (p < .001) and dietary restraint (p = .001) than the infertility group. Both groups had elevated rates of lifetime ED diagnoses compared to national prevalence rates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results demonstrated that women seeking treatment for ovulatory and unexplained infertility have greater drive for thinness and bulimic symptoms but not body dissatisfaction or dietary restraint compared to women seeking primary care. The results suggest that infertility and routine health care visits may provide opportunities for early identification and treatment of women with ED symptomatology. Future studies may benefit from further elucidation of the potential role of ED symptoms in the etiology and maintenance of infertility in, particularly, normal-weight women.

KEYWORDS:

anorexia nervosa; binge eating disorder; bulimia nervosa; eating disorder symptoms; infertility; primary care

PMID:
25819743
DOI:
10.1111/1552-6909.12573
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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