Psychosocial support for infertile couples during assisted reproductive technology treatment

Francesca Agostini, Fiorella Monti, Leonardo De Pascalis, Marcella Paterlini, Giovanni Battista La Sala, Isaac Blickstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the psychosocial support perceived by couples during assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments. Design: Prospective follow-up of patients undergoing ART. Setting: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, S. Maria Nuova Hospital, Reggio Emilia, Italy. Patient(s): Eighty-three women and 83 men admitted for ART. Intervention(s): Patients completed a sociodemographic questionnaire and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support at the beginning of ovarian stimulation, upon oocyte pick-up, and 1 month after ET. Main Outcome Measure(s): Perception of psychosocial support. Result(s): Men, compared with women, consistently reported poorer perception of psychosocial support, especially from friends and significant others; family support showed no difference. Women showed a decrease in perceived support, especially from friends, in cases of failure. Both reported less support from significant others if they had previously already undergone ART treatments. Conclusion(s): Men might feel excluded from the treatment because of the greater attention to women, leading to feelings of isolation from friends and partners. Women suffer particularly in cases of failure that reconfirms the trauma of infertility. These psychological risk factors underline the usefulness of psychological support for these couples, especially in cases of prolonged infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-710
Number of pages4
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • ART
  • infertility
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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