Reza Kormi Nouri Corresponding Author
1- Psychology Department, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran
2- Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

Received: 4/1/2000 Accepted: 4/1/2000 - Publisher : Avicenna Research Institute

Related Articles


Other Format



In this review article , the research conducted on the social and psychological aspects of infertility have been divided into two groups : The first group of studies believe that infertility may have psychological causes ( such as differences in personality and experiencing stress between infertile and non-infertile people). The second group of studies examine the psychological Consequences by both qualitative and quantitative methods. In general , the qualitative studies describe infertility as a devastating experience , especially for women. The qualitative studies try to measure the psychological consequences hypothesis by standard tests . The studies have shown that infertile subjects are different from non-infertile subjects with respect to psychological distress , stress , depression , self-steem , marital satisfaction and sexual satisfaction . However , in the quantitative studies compared to qualitative studies , there is more inconsistency in the literature . This may be due to both methodological problems (such as sampling , temporal dimension , control groups and cross-cultural variation ) and theoretical (conceptual ) problems . In the end , gender differences in infertility experience have been discussed and the review articles show that , in addition to psychololgical factors , we need to pay more attention to social and psychological aspects of infertility .

Keywords: Infertility, Psychological factors, quantitative & qualitative studies

To cite this article:


  1. Abbey. A., Andrews. F. M. and Halman, L. J. Infertility and parenthood: does becoming a parent increase well-being? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1994; 62: 398-403.
  2. Abbey. A., Andrews. F. M. and Halman, L. J. Infertility and subjective well-being: The mediating roles of self-esteem. internal control. And interpersonal conflict. Journal of marriaqe and the Family. 1992; 54: 408-417.
  3. Abbey. A., Andrews. F.M. and Halman, L. J.Provision and receipt of social support and disregard: what is their impact on the marital life quality of infertile and fertile couples? Journal of presonality and Social psychology. 1995; 68: 455-296.
  4. Abbey. A., and Halman, L. J. The role of perceived control, attributions, and meaning in members’ of infertile couples well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical psychology.1995;14: 271-296.
  5. Abbey. A., Andrews. F.M. and Halman, L. J. Gender’s role in responses to infertility. Psychology of Women Quarterly.1991;15: 295-316.
  6. Abbey. A., Halman. L. J. and Andrews F. M. Psyehosoeial treatment and demographic predictors of stress associated with infertility. Fertility and Sterility.1992; 57: 122-128
  7. Andrews. F. M. Abbey. A. and Halman. J. Is fertility-problem stress different? The dynamics of stress in fertile and infertile couples. Fertility and Sterlitiy.1992; 57: 1247-1253.
  8. Astor. J. and pawson. M. The value of psychometric testing in the investigation of infertility. Journal of psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology.1986; 5: 107-111.
  9. Atherton. F. and Howel. D. Psychological morbidity and the availability of assisted conception: a group comparison study. Journal of Public Health Medicine. 1995; 17: 157-160.
  10. Baluch. B. Manyande. A. Aghssa. M. and Jafari R. Failing of conceive with in vitro fertilization: the middle eastern experience. Psychological Reports. 1993; 72: 1107-1110.
  11. Becker. G. Metaphors in disrupted lives: Infertility and cultural constructions of continuity. Medical Anthropology Quarterly.1994;8:383-410.
  12. Bell, J. S. Psychological problems among patients attending an infertility clinic Journal of psychosomatic Research.1981; 25: 1-3.
  13. Berg, B. J. and Wilson, J. F. Psychiatric morbidity in the infertility population: a reconceptualization. Fertility & Stertility. 1990; 53: 654-661.
  14. Bernstein, J. Mattox, J. H. and Kellner, R. Psychological status of previously infertile couples after a successful pregnancy. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Neonatal Nursing. 1988; 17:404-408.
  15. Bernstein, J. potts. N. and Mattox, J. Assessment of psychologic dysfunction associated with infertility. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Neonatal Nursing.1985; 14: 63-66.
  16. Brand. H. J. Roos. S. S. and van der Merwe. A. B. Psychological stress and infertility part1: psychological reaction patterns. British Journal of Medical psychology.1982; 55: 379-384.
  17. Brand. H. J. Roos. S. S. and van der Merwe. A. B. Psychological stress and infertility part2: psychological reaction patterns. British Journal of Medical psychology.1982; 55: 379-388.
  18. Boivin. J. and Takefman. J. E. Stress level across stages of in vitro fertilization in subsequently pregnant and nonpregnant women. Fertility and Sterility.1995; 64: 802-810.
  19. Callan. V. J. The personal and marital adjustment of mothers and of voluntarily and involuntarily childless wives. Journal of Marriage and the Family.1987; 49: 847-856.
  20. Chandra. P. S. Chaturvedi. S. K. lssac. M. K. Chitra. H. Sudarshan. C. Y. and Beena. M. B. Marital life among infertile spouses: the wife’s perspective and its implications in therapy. Family Therapy.1991; 18:145-154 .
  21. Connolly, K.J. Edelmann, R. Cooke. L. D. and Robson, J. The impact of infertility on psychological functioning. Journal of psychosomatic Research.1992; 36: 459-468.
  22. Daniluk, J. C. Leader. A. and Taylor. P. L. psychological and relationship changes of couples undergoing an infertility investigation: some implications for counseling. British Journal of Guidance and Counseling.1987; 15: 29-36 .
  23. Domar, A. D. Broome. A. Zuttermeister, P. C. Seibel. M. and Friedman. R. The prevalence and predictability of depression in infertile women. Fertility and Sterility.1992; 58: 1158-1163.
  24. Domar, A. D. Zuttermeister, P.C. Seibil. M. and Benson. H. Psychological improvement in infertile women after behavioral treatment:a replication. Fertility and Sterility.1992;58:144 -147.
  25. Downey, J. and Mckinney. M. The psychiatric status of women presenting for infertility evaluation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 1992; 62:196-205.
  26. Dunkel Schetter. C. and Lobel.M. psychological reactions to infertility.In psychological Adjustment to Infertility ed. A. C. Dunkel Schetter and A. L. Stanton. 1991; PP.29-57. Plenum. New York.
  27. Edelmann. R. J. and Connolly, K. psychological aspects of infertility. British Journal of Medical psychology.1986; 59: 209-219.
  28. Edelmann. R. J. Connolly, K. J. and Bartlett. H. Coping strategies and psychological adjustment of couples presenting for IVF. Journal of psychosomatic Research.1994; 38: 355-364.
  29. Freeman, E. W. Garcia, C. W. and Rickels, K. Behavioral and emotional factors: comparisons of anovulatory infertile women with fertile and other infertile women. Fertility and Sterility.1983; 40: 195- 201.
  30. Fagan, P. J. Schmidt. C. W. Rock, J. A. Damewood. M. D. Halle. E. and Wise, T. N. Sexual functioning and psychologic evaluation of in vitro fertilization couples. Fertility and Sterility.1986; 46:668-672.
  31. Freeman, E. W. Boer. A. W. Rickels, K. Tureck, R. and Mastroianni, L. Jr psychological evaluation and support in a program of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Fertility and Sterility.1985; 4: 48-53.
  32. Greil, A. L. Not Yet pregnant: Infertile Couples in Contemporary America. Rutgers University press. New Brunswick . NJ. 1991.
  33. Greil, A. L. A secret stigma: the analogy between infertility and chronic illness and disability. In Advances in Medical Sociology. 1991;2.ed.G.Albrecht and J.Levy, pp. 17-38. JAL Press. Greenwich. CT.
  34. Hirsch, A. M. and Hirsch, S. M The effect of infertility on marriage and self-concept. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecological Neonatal Nursing. 1988; 18: 13-20.
  35. Harrison, R. F. O’Moore, R. R. and O’Moore, A. M. Stress and fertility: some modalities of investigation and treatment in couples with unexplained infertility in Dublin. International Journal of Fertility.1986; 3: 153-159.
  36. Harrison, K. L. Callan. V. J. and Hennessey, J. F. Stress and semen quality in an in vitro fertilization program. Fertility and Sterility.1987; 48: 633-636.
  37. Kedem, P. Mikulincer. M. and Nathanson, Y. E. psychological aspects of male infertility British Journal of Medical psychology.1990; 63: 73-80.
  38. Koropatnick. S. Daniluk, J. and pattinson, H. A. Infertility a non-event transition. Fertility and Sterility. 1993; 59: 163-171.
  39. Lalos, A. Lalos, O. Jacobsson, L. and von Schoultz, B. The psychosocial impact of infertility two years after completed surgical treatment. Acta Obstetrica and Gynecologica Scandinavica.1985; 64: 258-262.
  40. Lorber, J. and Bandlamudi. L. The dynamics of marital bargaining in male infertility. Gender and Society.1993; 7: 32-49.
  41. Miall, C. E. perceptions of informal sanctioning and the stigma of involuntary childlessness. Deviant Behavior.1985; 6: 383-403.
  42. Mahlstedt. P. MacDuff. S. and Bernstein. J. Emotional factors and the in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer process. Journal of IVF-ET.1987; 4: 232-236.
  43. Mendola, R. Tennen. H. Affleck, G, McCann, L. Fitzgerald. T. Appraisal and adaptation among women with impaired fertility. Cognitive Therapy and Research.1990; 14: 59-93.
  44. Morrow, K. A. Thoreson R. W. and Penney. L. L. Predictors of psychological distress among infertility elinic patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.1995; 63: 163-167.
  45. Newton. C. Hearn. M. and Yuzpe. A. psychological assessment and follow up after in vitro fertilization: assessing the impact of failure. Fertility and Sterility.1990; 54: 879-886.
  46. O’Moore. A. M. O’moore. R. R. Harrison. R. F. Murphy. G. and Carruthers. M. E. psychosomatic aspects in idiopathic infertility. effects of treatment with autogenic training. Journal of psychosomatic Research.1983; 27: 145-151.
  47. Olshansky, E. F. Identity of self as infertile: an example of theory-generating research. Advances in Nursing Sciences.1987; 9: 54-63.
  48. Pepe, M. V. and Byrne, J. Women’s perceptions of immediate and long-term effects of failed infertility treatment on marital and sexual satisfaction. Family Relations.1991; 40: 303-309.
  49. Paulson, J. D. Haarmann, B. S. Salerno, R. L. and Asmar, P, An investigation of the relationship between emotional maladjustment and infertility. Fertility and Sterility.1988; 49: 258-262.
  50. Sabatelli. R. M. Meth. R. L. and Gavazzi, S. M. Factors mediating the adjustment to involuntary childlessness. Family Relations.1988; 37:338-343.
  51. Snarey, J. Son. L. Kuehne, V. S. Hauser. S. and Vaillant. G. The role of parenting in men’s psychosocial development: a longitudinal study of early adulthood. infertility and midlife generativity. Developmental psychology.1987; 23: 593-603.
  52. Sabatelowski, M. With Child in Mind: Studies of the personal Encountrer with Infertility. University of pennsylvania press. philadelphia. 1993.
  53. Stanton. A. Tennen. H. Affleck. G. and Mendola R. Cognitive appraisal and adjustment to infertility. Women and Hedlth.1991; 17: 1-15.
  54. Sandelowski. M. Holditch-Davis. D. and Harris. B. G. Living the life: explanations of infertility Sociology of Health and Illness.1990;12:195-215.
  55. Schenker. J. G, Meirow, D. and Schenker. E. Stressand human reproduetion. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecdogieal Reproductive Biology. 1992; 45: 1-8.
  56. Schover, L. R. Collins, R, L. and Richards S. psychological aspects of donor insemination: evaluation and follow-up of recipient couples. Fertility and Sterility.1992; 57: 583-590.
  57. Slade, P. Raval. H. Buck. p. and Lieberman, B. E. A 3-year follow-up of emotional, martial. and sexual functioning in couples who were infertile. Journal of Reproductive and Infant psychology. 1992 ; 10: 233-243.
  58. Sankelowski, M. The color gray: ambiguity and infertility. Image Jouranl of nursinq Scholarship. 1987; 19: 70-74 .
  59. Stoleru. S. Tegles. J. P. Fermaninan. J. and Spira. A. psychological factors in the aetiology of infertility: a prospective cohort study. Human Reproduction.1993; 8: 1039-1046.
  60. Ulbrich. p. M. Coyle. A. T. and Llabre. M. M. Involuntary childlessness and matrital adjustment: his and hers, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. 1990;16: 147-158.
  61. Wasser, S. K. psychosocial srtess and infertility: cause or effect ? Human Nature.1994; 5: 206-293.
  62. Wasser. S. K. Sewall. G. and Soules. M. R. psychosocial stress as a cause of infertility. Fertility and Sterility.1993; 59: 685-689.
  63. Wright. J. M. Lecours. A. and Sabourin, S. psychosocial disrtess and infertility: a review of controlled research. International Journal of Fertility. 1989; 34: 126-142.
  64. Wright.J.Duchesne. C. Sabourin. S. Bissonnette, F, Benoit. J. and Ferard. y. psychosocial distress and infertility: men and women respond differently. Fertility and Sterility.1991; 55: 100-108.


Home | About Us | Current Issue | Past Issues | Submit a Manuscript | Instructions for Authors | Subscribe | Search | Contact Us

"Journal of Reproduction & Infertility" is owned, published, and managed by Avicenna Research Institute .
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution –NonCommercial 4.0 International License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.

Journal of Reproductoin and Infertility (JRI) is a member of COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION ETHICS . Verify here .

©2024 - eISSN : 2251-676X, ISSN : 2228-5482, For any comments and questions please contact us.