• Open Access

Symptoms of anxiety and depression in lesbian couples treated with donated sperm: a descriptive study

Authors

  • C Borneskog,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • G Sydsjö,

    1. Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
    2. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • C Lampic,

    1. Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M Bladh,

    1. Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
    2. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • AS Svanberg

    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence: C Borneskog, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, S-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. Email catrin.borneskog@kbh.uu.se

Abstract

Objective

To investigate symptoms of anxiety and depression in lesbian couples undergoing assisted reproductive treatment (ART), and to study the relationship of demographic data, pregnancy outcome and future reproductive plans with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Design

Descriptive, a part of the prospective longitudinal ‘Swedish study on gamete donation’.

Setting

All university clinics in Sweden performing gamete donation.

Population

A consecutive sample of 214 lesbian couples requesting assisted reproduction, 165 of whom participated.

Methods

Participants individually completed three study-specific questionnaires and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS): time point 1 (T1), at commencement of ART; time point 2 (T2), approximately 2 months after treatment; and time point 3 (T3), 2–5 years after first treatment.

Main outcome measures

Anxiety and depression (HADS), pregnancy outcome and future reproductive plans.

Results

The vast majority of lesbian women undergoing assisted reproduction reported no symptoms of anxiety and depression at the three assessment points. A higher percentage of the treated women, compared with the partners, reported symptoms of anxiety at T2 (14% versus 5%, P = 0.011) and T3 (10% versus 4%, P = 0.018), as well as symptoms of depression at T2 (4% versus 0%, P = 0.03) and T3 (3% versus 0%, P = 0.035). The overall pregnancy outcome was high; almost three-quarters of lesbian couples gave birth 2–5 years after sperm donation treatments. Open-ended comments illustrated joy and satisfaction about family building.

Conclusion

Lesbian women in Sweden reported good psychological health before and after treatment with donated sperm.

Ancillary