For most couples, going through fertility problems can put a strain on the relationship. Research suggests that women who have a baby after experiencing fertility issues are more likely to stay in a relationship. This is according to a study published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. Around 11% of American women and their partners are unable to get pregnant after 1 year of unprotected sex. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) The research team, led by Trille Kristina Kjaer of the Unit of Survivorship at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Denmark, notes that previous research suggests that when couples experience fertility problems, this can affect them physically and psychologically. Other studies have shown that if fertility treatment is unsuccessful, this can lead to a lower quality of life for the couple, as well as increased anxiety, depression and stresslevels. Investigators say some studies have suggested that couples who go through fertility problems become closer.
The researchers analyzed data of 47,515 women from the Danish National Patient Registry and the Danish IVF (in vitro fertilization) Registry. The average age of the women was 32 years. And all women had been referred to a Danish hospital for fertility problems between 1990 and 2006. Women were followed for up to 12 years. On average, follow-up took place for 7 years. During this time, 57% of the women gave birth to a minimum of one child, while 43% did not give birth.
The researchers found that women who did not give birth to a child were three times more likely to divorce or end the relationship with their partner at the time of the study, compared with women who gave birth to a child.
Commenting on the findings, Dr. Kjaer says: "Our findings suggest that not having a child after fertility treatment may adversely affect the duration of a relationship for couples with fertility issues." She adds that further research is needed to determine the relationship quality and well-being of couples who experience fertility problems.
Last year, Medical News Today reported on a study suggesting that a person's personality may affect their fertility. In more recent fertility news, experts published an analysis in the BMJ, stating that IVF is being overused and the risks of the treatment may outweigh the benefits.