Hecht LM, Hadwiger A, Patel S, Hecht BR, Loree A, Ahmedani BK, and Miller-Matero LR. Disordered eating and eating disorders among women seeking fertility treatment: A systematic review. Arch Womens Ment Health 2021.
Arch Womens Ment Health
The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the prevalence of disordered eating and eating disorders among women seeking fertility treatment. Observational studies were searched in Ovid MEDLINE, Web of Science, Embase, and PsycInfo. Studies published prior to September 2020 when the search was conducted were considered. Inclusion criteria included (1) original and empirical research, (2) published in a peer-reviewed journal, and (3) reported on disordered eating among women seeking fertility treatment in the sample or reported on prevalence of eating disorders among women seeking fertility treatment in the sample. Independent screening of abstracts was conducted by two authors (LH and AH). Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Sample size, study location, measures, and results for each study in this review were reported. Among women pursuing fertility treatment, rates of current eating disorders ranged from 0.5 to 16.7%, while past eating disorder prevalence rates ranged from 1.4 to 27.5%. Current anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa was reported by up to 2% and 10.3% of women, respectively, while history of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa was reported by up to 8.5% and 3.3% of women, respectively. Binge eating disorder or other eating disorders were reported by up to 18.5% and 9.1% of women, respectively. Disordered eating pathology was endorsed by 1.6 to 48% of women seeking fertility treatment. Endorsement of pathological eating attitudes was generally higher among women seeking fertility treatment with current or past eating disorders as compared to community samples, with the exception of dietary restraint. Rates of current and past eating disorders are higher among women seeking fertility treatment than in the general population. Providers treating women with infertility should be cognizant of these prevalence rates and consider screening for eating pathology in their patients as this may contribute to their likelihood of successful conception and/or subsequent pregnancy outcomes.
ePub ahead of print