Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Health-related quality of life in infertile couples receiving IVF or ICSI treatment

Batool Rashidi1, Ali Montazeri23*, Fatemeh Ramezanzadeh1, Mamak Shariat1, Nasrin Abedinia1 and Mahnaz Ashrafi4

Author Affiliations

1 Vali-e-Asr Reproductive Health Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, Tehran, Iran

3 Public Health and Health Policy, Division of Community-Based Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

4 Royan Institute, Tehran, Iran

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BMC Health Services Research 2008, 8:186  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-8-186

Published: 19 September 2008



Infertile couples might experience psychological distress and suffer from impaired health-related quality of life. This study aimed to examine health-related quality of life in infertile couples receiving either in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment.


This was a cross-sectional study of quality of life in infertile couples attending to Vali-e-Asr Reproductive Health Research Center or Royan Institute for either IVF or ICSI treatment in Tehran, Iran. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Patients' demographic and clinical characteristics were also recorded. Data were analyzed to compare quality of life in infertile women and men and to indicate what variables predict quality of life in infertile couples.


In all 514 women and 514 men (n = 1028) were studied. There were significant differences between women and men indicating that male patients had a better health-related quality of life. Also health-related quality of life was found to be better in infertility due to male factor. Performing logistic regression analysis it was found that female gender, and lower educational level were significant predictors of poorer physical health-related quality of life. For mental health-related quality of life in addition to female gender and lower educational level, younger age also was found to be a significant predictor of poorer condition. No significant results were observed for infertility duration or causes of infertility either for physical or mental health-related quality of life.


The findings suggest that infertility duration or causes of infertility do not have significant effects on health-related quality of life in infertile couples. However, infertile couples, especially less educated younger women, are at risk of a sub-optimal health-related quality of life and they should be provided help and support in order to improve their health-related quality of life.