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Relationships in IVF couples 20 years after treatment
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre of Paediatrics and Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
Uppsala University.
Karolinska Institute.
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology.
2011 (English)In: Human Reproduction, ISSN 0268-1161, E-ISSN 1460-2350, Vol. 26, no 7, 1836-1842 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Involuntary childlessness is a psychological and social dilemma for at least one but usually both members of the childless couples and is thought to have a lifelong impact on many of these couples. Studies of the long-term effects are scarce and the participation rate in published studies is generally very low. We therefore intended to analyse relationships and family structure in couples 20-23 years after the women in these couples had received IVF treatment. METHODS: The data are drawn from answers from 788 individuals-81% of the individuals treated. ENRICH has been used to analyse the relationships in those couples who stated that they have remained a couple since their IVF treatment. In total, 412 men and women (206 couples) answered the ENRICH inventory. A total of 14 men and 137 women answered the ENRICH, without their spouse answering the inventory. RESULTS: We found that the majority of all couples show a stable relationship 20 years or more after the date of IVF treatment. However, the group of couples who remained childless (9.2% of the total study population) during the 20 years following the IVF treatment differ from the majority on the subscale Children and Parent measuring aspects on attitudes and feelings about having and raising children. Another difference seen in the couples that were childless was that men scored significantly higher on Conflict resolution and the couples had a higher average score on positive agreement on the issues on Communication indicating a skill in communication in the relationship and also an agreement that they are communicating well. CONCLUSIONS: We found that the majority of IVF couples (90.8%) who had been treated similar to 20 years prior to follow-up had added at least one biological or adopted child to the family during that time. The relationships in couples who had continued to stay together during that period were generally described as being good, whether the couples had become parents or not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press , 2011. Vol. 26, no 7, 1836-1842 p.
Keyword [en]
infertility; couples relationship; long-term effect; ENRICH relationship inventory
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69839DOI: 10.1093/humrep/der131ISI: 000291752500028OAI: diva2:433461
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Human Reproduction following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version: Gunilla Sydsjö, A. Skoog Svanberg, C. Lampic and Barbara Jablonowska, Relationships in IVF couples 20 years after treatment, 2011, Human Reproduction, (26), 7, 1836-1842. is available online at: Copyright: Oxford University Press (OUP) from: 2011-08-10 Created: 2011-08-08 Last updated: 2012-06-25

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Sydsjö, GunillaJablonowska, Barbara
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Obstetrics and gynecologyFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Linköping
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Human Reproduction
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