The psychological impact of infertility in the male able bodied and spinal cord injured population
Background Parenthood is one of the major transitions in adult life for both men and women, which is associated with major emotional sequels. This study was performed to determine the psychological impact of infertility in healthy infertile (HI) male and their partners compared to spinal cord injured (SCI) male patients and their partners. Methods In this descriptive analytical study 115 subjects who attended for IVF/ICSI program recruited. Thirty-one HI male but twenty of their partners, and 34 SCI male but thirty of their partners agreed to complete the symptoms checklist (SCL-90) and cattle anxiety questionnaires. The Farsi version of these questionnaires were used to evaluate psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, hypochondriasis, obsession, compulsion, aggression, paranoia, and psychotism in relation to patients by cause of infertility, duration of infertility, age, education, and employment of the patients and their partners. Results The mean age (SD) of the HI men and their partners were 33.37 (5.98) and 28.3(5.96) years compared to the SCI group which were 31.68 (3.43) and 28.4(4.87) years, respectively. This study showed that the level of anxiety, depression, paranoia, compulsion, and psychotism was higher than normal in our study groups. However, this was not significant within each group (p > 0.05). In SCI male, the level of depression, hypochondria, and compulsion increased by anxiety was significantly high (p < 0.05). The employment was associated with decreased phobia (P < 0.03). In SCI male's partners the duration of infertility and age significantly increased anxiety (p < 0.019), hypochondriosis and phobia (p < 0.033). The higher level of education was associated with greater decrease of psychotism (p < 0.03). In HI male group the compulsion and psychotism were interrelated significantly by higher level of anxiety (p < 0.00), and employment was related to lower levels of aggression (0.001). In HI male's partners, there was a direct relationship between the duration of the infertility with the level of anxiety, depression, hypochondriasis, and obsession (p < 0.05). The level of compulsion and aggression significantly decreased by education (p < 0.05). Conclusion Adequate attention to infertile patients and their partners' psychological aspects and their treatment with cognitive, behavioral therapies and social supports before IVF/ICSI program is of great importance which may help to improve the quality of life in this population.