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.
- assisted reproductive techniques
- In vitro fertilization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Reproductive Medicine