Grief reactions following in-vitro fertilization treatment

Dorothy A. Greenfeld, Michael Peter Diamond, Alan H. Decherney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been widely reported that in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a particularly stressful experience for women. In particular, it appears that when IVF fails, a small number of women suffer a grief reaction that may be quite disruptive to their lives. The symptoms manifested by this grief response mirror the symptoms of women suffering a pregnancy loss. Clinical observation suggests that the intensity of grief reactions is greatest after a failed first cycle of the treatment and that, to a limited extent, this response can be predicted by observing the degree of the IVF patient's attachment to the expected pregnancy. The authors describe significant grief reactions which occurred in 3 of 97 women who failed to achieve pregnancy after a first cycle of IVF. It appears that the impressive IVF technology can inadvertently foster and intensify IVF patient's attachment to the expected pregnancy by creating unreasonable expectations of successful treatment of infertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Grief
  • In-vitro fertilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology

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