Sleep, psychological distress, and clinical pregnancy outcome in women and their partners undergoing in vitro or intracytoplasmic sperm injection fertility treatment

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OBJECTIVES: To explore the prevalence of poor sleep quality in couples undergoing fertility treatment and study possible associations.

PARTICIPANTS: 163 women and 132 partners receiving in vitro (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) fertility treatment.

SETTING: Three public Danish fertility clinics.

DESIGN AND MEASUREMENTS: Participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) at three time-points as part of a larger RCT. Additional data from patient records and questionnaires were included to evaluate possible associations with treatment protocol type, psychological distress, and pregnancy outcome.

RESULTS: Mean PSQI global scores before treatment were 8.1 (standard deviation = 2.3), with 91% of participants having PSQI scores > 5, indicating poor sleep quality. Scores did not differ between women and their partners and did not change during treatment. Statistically significant associations were found between sleep quality and depressive symptoms and state anxiety (p < .001). No difference in PSQI scores was found between protocol types. While there was a trend towards higher clinical pregnancy rates among women with good sleep quality (PSQI ≤ 5 = 72.7%, PSQI 6-10 = 52.6% and PSQI ≥ 11 = 42.3%), the differences did not reach statistical significance (p = .10-.21).

CONCLUSIONS: Poor sleep quality is a prevalent problem among couples undergoing fertility treatment and is associated with psychological distress and possibly with pregnancy outcomes. Success rates after fertility treatment remain moderate, and poor sleep quality, a potentially modifiable factor, could be relevant to screen for and treat among couples undergoing fertility treatment. The high prevalence of poor sleep quality calls for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSleep health
Volume8
Issue2
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
ISSN2352-7218
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

    Research areas

  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Sleep, in vitro fertilization, infertility, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, pregnancy, psychological distress

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