Objective: To examine whether women's baseline coping strategies are associated with IVF outcomes. Psychologic factors have been found to be prospectively associated with the outcome of IVF treatments in several studies. However, the exact role of coping strategies, which are modifiable, remains unclear. Problem-focused coping may be more adaptive for controllable situations, whereas emotion-focused coping (EFC) may be more adaptive for uncontrollable situations, such as most stages of IVF treatment. Design: Prospective study. Coping strategies were assessed before IVF treatment began. Setting: Infertility and IVF unit in a university-affiliated tertiary medical center. Patient(s): Eighty-eight women undergoing IVF treatment in our unit. Main Outcome Measure(s): Pregnancy. Result(s): Of 88 women participating in the study, 23.9% became pregnant. In the male and female factor infertility groups, the EFC strategy of "letting go" was positively and significantly associated with pregnancy. Adjusting for age, cause of infertility, and number of cycles, the relative risk for pregnancy by "letting go" was 1.88 (95% confidence interval 1.1-3.2). Conclusion(s): These findings support the notion that in the context of a low-control situation such as IVF treatment, women who try to be actively in control may pay a higher price in terms of pregnancy probabilities. Means of increasing "letting go" are discussed.
- Coping strategies