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Fertility Treatment Cancellations Due to COVID-19 Impact Mental Health

Several protective psychosocial factors can help women cope during the pandemic

human sperm and egg

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Fertility treatment suspensions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a considerable negative impact on women's mental health and quality of life, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in PLOS ONE.

Jennifer L. Gordon, Ph.D., and Ashley A. Balsom, from the University of Regina in Canada, recruited 92 women from Canada and the United States (aged 20 to 45 years) whose fertility treatments had been canceled. The psychological impact of the cancellations was assessed among participants.

The researchers found that 52 percent of respondents reported clinical levels of depressive symptoms. There were significant patient-reported declines in overall quality of life and mental health. Lower levels of defensive pessimism, greater infertility acceptance, better-quality social support, more social support seeking, and less avoidance of infertility reminders were associated with positive well-being.

"These findings suggest that additional mental health resources are likely to be needed in this population," the authors write.

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