Infertile women are exposed more frequently to anxiety risk than are infertile men, thereby adversely affecting the procedures with which they are treated and the quality of their lives. Yet, this problem is often disregarded. This study accordingly determined the prevalence of anxiety symptoms among infertile women.
All Persian and English studies published from the early 2000s to May 2019 were searched in international (i.e., PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, Embase, and PsycINFO) and national (i.e., SID, Magiran) databases as well as through Google Scholar. After the titles and abstracts of the articles were reviewed, their quality was evaluated, and relevant works for examination were selected in consideration of established inclusion and exclusion criteria. The risk of biases of individual studies according to Newcastle – Ottawa Scale was assessed. The heterogeneity of the studies was assessed using the I statistic, and indicators of publication bias were ascertained using Egger’s test. Stata (version 14) was employed in analyzing the findings.
Thirteen studies having a collective sample size of 5055 infertile women were subjected to meta-analysis, with study heterogeneity incorporated into a random effects model. The findings indicated that 36% of the infertile women involved in the evaluated studies self-reported their experience with anxiety. The pooled prevalence of the condition among the subjects was 36.17% [95% confidence interval (CI): 22.47-49.87]. The pooled prevalence levels in low- and middle-income countries and high-income countries were 54.24% (95% CI: 31.86-78.62) and 25.05% (95% CI: 15.76-34.34), respectively. The results revealed no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.406).
Considering the prevalence of anxiety in infertile women and its effects on health processes and quality of life, this problem requires serious consideration and planning for effective intervention, especially in low- and middle-income nations.
© The Author(s) 2020.