Infertility experience and health differentials - a population-based comparative study on infertile and non-infertile women (the HUNT Study)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

OBJECTIVE: Studies suggest that health complaints, distress and poor life satisfaction are associated with infertility experience. Research on health consequences of infertility experience in women has relied heavily on clinic-based samples. This population-based study investigates the association between infertility and health and life satisfaction.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional population-based health study, conducted between 2006 and 2008.

SETTING: All women in a county in Norway were invited. The current material is restricted to women aged 20-49 years.

POPULATION: A total of 9200 women participated.

METHODS: Health measures were compared between women with infertility experience (infertile women) and women without infertility experience (non-infertile women). Disparities in health and life satisfaction among the infertile women were assessed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported health, functional impairment, depression, anxiety, and life satisfaction.

RESULTS: Some 15.4% of the women had experienced infertility. Infertile women reported poor self-reported health and functional impairment significantly more often than non-infertile women. Childless infertile women had significantly raised adjusted risks for health complaints and dissatisfaction with life compared with non-infertile women with a child, whereas infertile women with a child did not. Differences in health and life satisfaction emerged among the infertile women, but the differences were not significant. There were no significant differences in depression and anxiety between infertile and non-infertile women, or between the two groups of infertile women (with/without a child).

CONCLUSIONS: The study confirms the adverse effect of infertility on health and life-satisfaction. The childless infertile women stand out as being vulnerable to the detrimental consequences of infertility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Obstetrica et Gynecologica
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)757-64
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

    Research areas

  • Adult, Anxiety, Case-Control Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Depression, Female, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Infertility, Female, Logistic Models, Middle Aged, Norway, Parity, Personal Satisfaction, Pregnancy, Questionnaires, Self Report

ID: 137615340