The surprising revelation was discovered by Dr. Bea Lintsen, a physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (The Netherlands), and her colleagues.
The researchers used questionnaires to assess the levels of psychological distress in 783 women at two points before and during fertility treatment.
Results from the 421 women who completed both questionnaires showed that levels of depression or anxiety either before or during fertility treatment had no influence over cancellation rates and did not predict pregnancy rates either.
Until now, studies of the links between anxiety and depression and the success of fertility treatment have been inconclusive.
Dr. Lintsen believes this is the largest prospective study yet to look at the influence of distress on the outcome of a first IVF or ICSI treatment, and that the findings are reliable.
However, she and her colleagues say the associations between psychological factors and pregnancy rates after IVF are complex and require further research into mediating factors such as lifestyle and sexual behavior.
The study is published in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal, Human Reproduction.