Couples who seek evaluation for infertility
problems are more likely to stay together if they are ultimately able to
have a child, a new Danish study suggests.
still carries a stigma
Researchers followed couples after they first sought assistance with
fertility issues. Women who didn't have a child over the next 12 years were up
to three times more likely to get divorced or end the relationship compared to
women who gave birth to a child during that follow-up period, the investigators
The study included more than 47 500 women in Denmark who were evaluated for
infertility between 1990 and 2006. Among this group, 57% gave birth after
The findings are published in the online edition of the journal Acta
Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic
Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Effects of infertility
"Our findings suggest that not having a child after fertility treatment
may adversely affect the duration of a relationship for couples with fertility
issues," said study lead author Trille Kristina Kjaer, of the survivorship
unit at the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre in Copenhagen.
"Further investigations that account for marital quality and relational
well-being of couples with fertility problems are now needed," Kjaer noted
in a journal news release.
Previous research has examined the effects of infertility and suggested that
women may be more deeply affected. Failing to have a baby despite efforts can
lead to high
levels of stress and anxiety
for the couple and may negatively affect their quality
of life, the study authors noted in the news release.
However, the researchers added, other studies have suggested that a
fertility struggle can also bring a couple closer together, creating what is
sometimes called a "marital benefit" brought on by sharing a common hardship.
While the study found an association between failed fertility treatment
efforts and breakups among couples, it did not prove a cause-and-effect
for couples with 'unexplained infertility'
million couples infertile
treatment for infertility