Alcohol abuse risk factors and psychiatric disorders in pregnant women with a history of infertility

Nicole W. Karjane, Dale W. Stovall, Nathan G. Berger, Dace S. Svikis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To determine if a history of infertility is associated with alcohol abuse risk factors, depression, and other psychiatric disorders. Methods: Pregnant women awaiting their first prenatal visit completed a questionnaire and subsequently participated in an interview consisting of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IIIR and the Family Alcohol and Drug Survey. The data obtained from women with a history of infertility were compared with the data from women without prior infertility. Results: Eighty-nine pregnant women participated in the study, 27 with prior infertility and 62 without. Subjects were demographically similar, except that women with a history of infertility were slightly older than controls (34.7 vs. 31.1 years, p < 0.001). Pregnant women with a history of infertility reported needing significantly more drinks to get high, (3.3 vs. 2.7, p = 0.04) and were more likely to have clinically elevated tolerance, annoyance, cut-down, and eye-opener (T-ACE) alcohol tolerance scores (83.3% vs. 52.3%, p < 0.01) than women without such history. Major depression (lifetime) was diagnosed in 69.2% of infertility subjects compared with 30% of controls (p < 0.05). Lifetime simple phobia (23.1% vs. 10%, p < 0.01), generalized anxiety disorder (23.1% vs. 3%, p < 0.01), panic disorder (15.4% vs. 0%, p < 0.05), and bulimia (7.7% vs. 0%, p < 0.05) were also more common in women with a history of infertility compared with controls. Conclusions: Pregnant women with a history of infertility are at increased risk for alcohol abuse and are more likely to suffer from other psychiatric disorders than women without such history. Special attention to these issues is warranted when caring for pregnant women who were previously infertile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1627
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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