Psychological aspects of infertility in men, women and couples: A scoping review


  • God’s Choice Osaghae


Infertility, Assisted Reproductive Therapy, Depression, Anxiety, Self-Esteem, Psychological Stress


Background: Infertility is a condition which can affect all aspects of the life of those experiencing it. Aside from the physical impacts of infertility, the emotional and mental well-being of the individual can also be affected. There are several manifestations of the psychological impact of infertility such as depressive and anxiety symptoms. Individuals experiencing infertility therefore need to be considered not just for physical treatment of the medical condition but also evaluation of their psychological wellbeing and therapy if needed. This study will review the available literature and gather knowledge on the psychological aspects of infertility. It will investigating the available evidence on psychological implications of infertility. Exploring the several types of psychological characteristics and how they are reflected in men, women, and couples.

Methods: A scoping review was done to answer the research question and gain knowledge on the available literature on this topic. Seeing that this is a broad topic, involving many psychological characteristics, men, women, and not limited to a particular country, a scoping review was the preferred method of research. In addition, recommendations on further research and health strategies on this topic were important. Therefore, scoping review provided a foundation for such suggestions to be made.

Results: This review included twelve studies, of which eight conducted studies on psychological effect of infertility on individuals, while four studies were conducted in relation to coping strategies employed by individuals experiencing psychological stress from infertility. Differentiated themes of psychological effects were depression, anxiety, self-esteem, stress, and distress. An additional theme for coping strategies was made. There were 2 studies conducted on men, while the remaining studies involving women participants and couples.

Conclusion: In view of the impact infertility has on the individual and their spouses, treatment of the condition should not be limited in its approach. It should be multidisciplinary involving mental health because it is of immense value and thus should be made available for times of need.