IVF Twin Pregnancies Raise Anxiety, but Not Depression


WASHINGTON — Anxiety—but not depression—was higher among women with twin pregnancies than in women with singleton pregnancies after in vitro fertilization, reported Dr. Farnaz Jahangiri of Northwestern University, Chicago.

In this study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Jahangiri and colleagues interviewed women at the confirmation of their pregnancies and again at 10–12 weeks' gestation and 21–22 weeks' gestation. The study included 48 singleton pregnancies and 13 sets of twins, and there were no significant demographic differences between the two groups.

The investigators found no differences in depression scores between the women with singleton vs. twin pregnancies at any of the three time points. By contrast, the women with twin pregnancies averaged higher (but not significantly higher) anxiety scores than the singleton group at 10–12 weeks and significantly higher anxiety scores at 22–23 weeks.

Psychological traits in singleton vs. twin IVF pregnancies have not been widely studied. But previous research has shown that women who are pregnant after IVF become less anxious as their pregnancies progress and their self-esteem increases.

The new findings of increased anxiety among women with IVF twin pregnancies during the second trimester can help clinicians discuss the risks associated with multiple gestations when they counsel women who are undergoing infertility treatments, according to the researchers. Depression was assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Anxiety was assessed using the Spielberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory.

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