Social concerns of women undergoing infertility treatment

Peter S. Finamore, David B. Seifer, Cande V. Ananth, Sandra R. Leiblum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Our study was undertaken to determine [1] what women are disclosing to their employer with regard to their infertility, [2] what demographic characteristics are associated with women who are more likely to disclose, and [3] if there is an association between disclosure and lowering one's stress. We hypothesize that, in certain women, disclosure may lower stress, and therefore increase success rate of in vitro fertilization. Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire. Setting: University Infertility Treatment Center. Patient(s): We handed out a questionnaire to patients being evaluated and treated for infertility over a 6-month period. A total of 267 questionnaires were handed out and all were collected. Main Outcome Measure(s): We collected demographic data as well as information regarding privacy, disclosure, and stress. We then compared women who disclose to their employer that they are being seen by an infertility specialist to those women who do not disclose. We also measured stress and determined if higher stress level was associated with disclosure or nondisclosure. Result(s): Most women who did disclose did so because they needed a reason to leave work for frequent doctor visits. Among women who did not disclose, the main reason for nondisclosure was to protect their privacy. Women with a high school education were more likely to disclose compared with those with a college and postgraduate education. African American/Caribbean American women were least likely to disclose. Those who were out of work more often because of their infertility were more likely to disclose. There was not an association with disclosure and decreasing stress level. Conclusion(s): Women who did or did not disclose their infertility status to their employer were different with regard to level of education, race/ethnicity, and number of visits per month to the doctor. The decision to disclose does not seem to have a significant impact on stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-821
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Stress
  • disclosure
  • infertility
  • privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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