Fertility status and symptoms in childbearing couples

Authors

  • Dr. Diane Holditch-Davis PhD, RN,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing. Beth Perry Black is a doctoral student and research assistant at the same university
    • School of Nursing, CB# 7460, Carrington Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460
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  • Beth Perry Black PhD, RN,

    Clinical Associate Professor
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing. Beth Perry Black is a doctoral student and research assistant at the same university
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  • Margarete Sandelowski PhD, RN,

    Professor
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing. Beth Perry Black is a doctoral student and research assistant at the same university
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  • Betty Glenn Harris PhD, RN,

    Associate Professor
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing. Beth Perry Black is a doctoral student and research assistant at the same university
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  • Michael Belyea PhD

    Research Associate Professor
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing. Beth Perry Black is a doctoral student and research assistant at the same university
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Abstract

The symptoms of 58 pregnant couples–37 with a history of infertility and 21 without a history of infertility–were compared. The Symptomatology Inventory, a checklist of 42 common physical and psychological symptoms of pregnancy, was completed by each spouse from months 4 to 9 of pregnancy. For purposes of analysis, the individual symptoms were grouped into three categories: physical symptoms, negative affective symptoms, and positive affective symptoms. Although the infertile pregnant couples did not experience more symptoms than fertile couples, their pattern of reporting pregnancy-related symptoms was quite different. In terms of both number and type of symptoms, infertile spouses' symptoms tended to be positively related. Compared to fertile couples, the infertile couples experienced symptoms globally and were more consistent in the number of symptoms reported by each spouse. Additional research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the implications of these differences for childbearing and the marital relationship. ©1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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