Infertility is a stressful experience, yet little is known about the specific issues confronting infertile women. In the present study, researchers sought to identify themes important to infertile women and examine possible associations with mental health levels. Using qualitative content analysis, researchers analyzed the email messages of 57 infertile women participating in a German-language Internet-based treatment for infertility. The themes most important to infertile women were emotions surrounding their wish for a child, coping with this unfulfilled wish, and medical aspects. Clinically anxious women reported substantially and significantly more negative and positive emotions than non-anxious women did (Mann-Whitney U(1)=178; p=0.034). Participants who were both clinically anxious and depressed reported more negative emotions and substantially fewer positive emotions when compared to participants who were solely anxious. The themes identified, considered important by infertile women, could be helpful to health professionals working in fertility treatment.


Counselling, Distress, Emotions, Infertility, Internet, Pregnancy, Psychosocial Issues, Reproductive Medice, and Women's Health


The authors wish to thank Isabelle Pfister for her contribution to the qualitative analysis. The present study was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation, Bern, Switzerland (grant no. 325100 -11375411). No competing financial interests exist.

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