Eating behaviors and attitudes in women with infertility: A controlled study




Infertility arises from a complex pathogenic process in which it is often difficult to identify etiology. Psychological and behavioral factors may play a role in some cases of infertility. The extent to which eating behaviors and attitudes contribute to infertility is unknown.


In this study, 120 subjects with infertility, 80 fertile women, and 90 patients suffering from anorexia nervosa, restricting subtype (AN-R), were assessed with the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI-2).


The EDI-2 highlights differences among patients with AN-R and fertile and infertile subjects. Infertile patients had higher scores on the Interpersonal Distrust, Interoceptive Awareness, and Maturity Fears EDI-2 subscales than fertile subjects. Logistic regression identifies the independent variables of interpersonal distrust, interoceptive awareness, maturity fears, and asceticism as predictors of infertility.


Infertile patients without eating disorders share some psychological features of women with AN. These features do not include disturbed eating attitudes and behaviors, but rather feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and maturity fears. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 178–184, 2003.