Esther Odiete, Abayomi Ajayi, Bamgboye M Afolabi, Victor Ajayi, Oluwafunmilola Biobaku and Ifeoluwa Oyetunji
Background: In-vitro fertilization treatment can be a stressful experience to infertile women and couples.
Objective: To evaluate anxiety levels of infertile women who consulted for In-vitro fertilization. Spousal support is discussed.
Method: Participants were 172 infertile women, accompanied by spouses or not and either debutant or repeating In-vitro fertilization procedure. State-Trait Anxiety Inventory was adopted and modified to measure individual woman’s and couple’s level of anxiety during the session. Responses were recorded on Likert’s scale of 0 (no anxiety) to 3 (severe anxiety).
Result: The means (±sd) of age (years), body mass index (kg/m2), duration of marriage (years) and duration of infertility (years) of the patients were 38.0 (6.0), 27.8 (5.4), 8.0 (5.3) and 1.9 (0.9) respectively. The mean ages of first-timers (36.6 years) and of those repeating the procedure (38.4) were significantly different (P-value =0.04). Most participants were married (168, 97.7%) and were professionals (60, 34.9%). Infertile women were 1.59 times more likely to consult alone when the cause of infertility is female factor (χ²=1.91, p-value=0.17, OR=1.59, 95% CI=0.82, 3.09), 1.72 times more likely to consult with spouse when the cause of infertility is male factor (χ²=1.23, pvalue= 0.27, OR=1.72, 95% CI=0.65, 4.53) and 3.48 times more likely to repeat IVF attempt when the cause of infertility is female factor (χ²=8.21, P-value=0.004, OR=3.48, 95% CI=1.43, 8.47). First-timers were about 1½ times more likely to express severe form of anxiety than those repeating IVF (χ²=1.04, P-value=0.31, OR=1.46, 95% CI=0.71, 3.02). First-timers consulting unescorted by spouse were over 2½ times more likely to exhibit severe form of anxiety than those accompanied (χ²=1.64, P-value=0.20, OR=2.69, 95% CI=0.58, 12.60). Expectation of positive outcome was the main source of anxiety among many (38, 22.1%) participants.
Conclusion: Results from this study support the implementation of counseling intervention for all In-vitro fertilization individual women and couples.