Does infertility cause marital benefit? An epidemiological study of 2250 women and men in fertility treatment.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Lone Schmidt, Bjørn Holstein, Ulla Christensen, Jacky Boivin

OBJECTIVE: To investigate (i) marital benefit, e.g., that infertility has strengthen the marriage and brought the partners closer together among people beginning fertility treatment and (ii) communication and coping strategies as predictors of marital benefit 12 months later. METHODS: A prospective cohort design including 2250 people beginning fertility treatment and a 12-month follow-up. Data were based on self-administered questionnaires measuring marital benefit, communication, and coping strategies. The analyses of predictors were based on the sub-cohort (n=816) who had not achieved a delivery after fertility treatment. RESULTS: 25.9% of women and 21.1% of men reported high marital benefit. Among men medium use of active-confronting coping (e.g., letting feelings out, asking others for advice) and use of meaning-based coping were significant predictors for high marital benefit. Having the infertility as a secret, difficult marital communication, and using active-avoidance coping (e.g., avoid being with pregnant women or children, turning to work to take mind off things) were among men significant predictors for low marital benefit. No significant predictors were identified among women. CONCLUSION: Fertility patients frequently experience marital benefit. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The study provides information about where to intervene with male fertility patients in order to increase their marital benefit after medically unsuccessful treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume59
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages7
ISSN0738-3991
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Adaptation, Psychological; Adult; Attitude to Health; Avoidance Learning; Chi-Square Distribution; Communication; Cooperative Behavior; Denmark; Emotions; Factor Analysis, Statistical; Female; Helping Behavior; Humans; Infertility; Male; Marriage; Prospective Studies; Questionnaires; Self Disclosure; Sex Factors; Social Support; Socioeconomic Factors; Stress, Psychological

ID: 5398053