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Child maltreatment, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV), and neglect, is related to decrements in physical health. Yet, it is not clear how maltreatment may impact indices of fertility and the specific forms of maltreatment may exhibit distinct associations with aspects of fertility. Because posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) have corresponded with a longer length to conception, it is prudent to account for current level of trauma symptoms. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the five types of maltreatment and PTSS were positively related to infertility, including length of time to conception, number of live births and miscarriages, and use of infertility treatments.Two hundred seventy-five trauma-exposed females (Mage = 38.82, SD = 12.73) who had been, or had tried to become, pregnant participated in the study.Despite expectations, none of the maltreatment types, nor PTSS, was related to longer length to conception. Minorities reported longer length of time to conceive. PTSS was tied to fewer number of live births. A history of neglect corresponded with a greater number of miscarriages, as well as greater use of fertility treatments.Racial minorities may be at higher risk for longer conception length times. Although replication is needed, neglect and PTSS may be associated with fertility difficulties whereas other forms of child maltreatment (sexual, physical, and emotion abuse and witnessing IPV) may not evince ties to aspects of fertility. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).


Rachel Wamser-Nanney. Types of childhood maltreatment, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and indices of fertility. Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy. 2022 Jan 10

PMID: 35007093

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