A prospective study assessing anxiety, depression and maternal-fetal attachment in women using PGD

J. C. Karatas, K. Barlow-Stewart, B. Meiser, C. McMahon, K. A. Strong, W. Hill, C. Roberts, P. J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background PGD has been described in previous cross-sectional and retrospective studies as a stressful experience. No prospective studies of the psychological impact of PGD are currently available. Methods Using a prospective study design, validated measures exploring anxiety and depression were used to assess women using PGD prior to treatment, following embryo transfer, following the pregnancy test result and at 24 weeks of pregnancy. Maternal-fetal attachment was also assessed during pregnancy. Results The prospective design revealed the cyclical pathway through PGD for many women, often comprising repeated cycles of ovarian stimulations and IVF and frozen embryo transfers. As predicted, there were significant fluctuations in womens anxiety scores, with increases observed following embryo transfer and pregnancy testing. Womens anxiety scores returned to baseline levels during pregnancy as assessed at 24 weeks gestation. Depression scores did not significantly fluctuate during PGD. Maternal-fetal attachment scores in this sample did not differ from the normative Australian data. Conclusions For some women, the PGD pathway is convoluted and requires multiple IVF cycles and embryo transfers to achieve pregnancy. A subset of women experience significant emotional burden during PGD treatment, and it is these women who require closer attention and support. In this sample, emotional adjustment in pregnancy following PGD appears to be sound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-156
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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