Anxiety and attitudes have been examined in a series of women conceiving through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT). Women were assessed before and after their first ultrasound examination conducted between 6 and 8 weeks' gestation. A comparison group of women attending for genetic counseling for advanced maternal age also was assessed. The results showed the two patient groups to be comparable on psychological testing. The IVF-GIFT group tended to be more concerned about a problem developing but were not more anxious. Attitude ratings showed the IVF-GIFT women to have greater investment in the pregnancy and the fetus. A comparison of scores before and after the ultrasound showed anxiety reduction for women seeing the fetal heartbeat. Attitude ratings were more positive for the women seeing the fetal heartbeat, with change less pronounced in women denied this feedback. These results confirm the effects of diagnostic testing on emotional state. Women with IVF-GIFT pregnancies show both higher concern than documented elsewhere in low-risk pregnancies, as well as greater emotional investment in the fetus.
Reading, A. E., Chang, L. C., & Kerin, J. F. (1989). Attitudes and anxiety levels in women conceiving through in vitro fertilization and gamete intrafallopian transfer. Fertility and Sterility, 52(1), 95–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0015-0282(16)60796-3