Are prior pregnancy outcomes relevant for models of fertility-specific distress or infertility helpseeking?

Arthur L. Greil, Katherine M. Johnson, Julia McQuillan, Naomi Lacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Women with prior pregnancy but no live birth are inconsistently termed as either 'primary infertile' or 'secondary infertile' in psychosocial studies of infertile women. The goal of this study was to discover whether infertile women who had experienced pregnancies but no live births were more similar in attitudes and behaviour to infertile women who had not experienced pregnancies or to those who had live births. We used the National Survey of Fertility Barriers (NSFB), which contains self-reported data from a probability-based sample of US women aged between 25 and 45, to accomplish our goal. In this cross-sectional analysis, infertile women who had not experienced pregnancies were compared on the basis of fertility-specific distress (FSD) and medical help-seeking for infertility to women who had had pregnancies with live births and women with pregnancies but no live births. Women were interviewed by telephone in their homes. Data of 1,027 women who had had an infertility episode within the past 10 years were analysed using multiple regression and logistic regression. Infertile women who had never been pregnant experience higher levels of FSD and were more likely to seek treatment than infertile women who had been pregnant, regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-166
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Fertility
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Infertility
  • Treatment choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this