Assessment of Maternal Health and Thyroid Activity by Determination of TSH, fT3 and fT4 in Pregnant Women Taking a Vitamin Supplement Containing Iodine (Pages 73-78)

Gad Liberty1, Ehud J. Margalioth2, Simion Meltcer1, Ravit Nahum1, Eyal Y. Anteby1, Jordana H. Hyman2 and Raoul Orvieto1

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Barzilai Medical Center, Hahistadrout St 2, Ashkelon 78278, Israel; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, 12 Shmu’el Bait Street, Jerusalem, Israel


Abstract: Background: The patients’ perspective of the definition of infertility may differ from the traditional medical definition.

Objective: To explore patients’ perspectives regarding the definition and treatment of infertility.

Methods: 343 infertile patients attending the infertility and IVF unit completed anonymous comprehensive questionnaires.

Results: Time to conception of <1, 1, 2 or more than 3 years was defined as infertility by 6%, 54%, 22% and 18% of the patients, respectively. The time period by which primary infertility was defined was longer in the ultra-orthodox, compared to other less observant sectors: 1.9±0.9 and 1.5±0.9 years, respectively (p<0.001). The time period by which secondary infertility was defined was longer according to religious piety: 1.6±1.2; 1.8±1.0; 2.0±1.0 and 2.6±1.6 years in secular, traditional, orthodox and ultra-orthodox patients, respectively (P<0.001). The number of existing children after which couples will still wish to attend infertility treatment significantly correlated with the religious devotion: 2.4±1.9; 3.2±2.0; 4.6±2.5 and 5.5±2.3 children in secular, traditional, orthodox and ultra-orthodox couples, respectively (P<0.001). Regarding the number of miscarriages that requires medical evaluation and treatment, 15% defined it after one miscarriage, 51% after two, 27% after three and 7% after four times or more.

Conclusions: patients’ subjective definition of infertility differs from the common medical definition, and correlates significantly with the degree of patients’ religious devotion.

Keywords: Infertility, definition, perspective, miscarriages, religion.