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Hum Reprod. 2006 Dec;21(12):3295-302. Epub 2006 Aug 24.

First IVF treatment--short-term impact on psychological well-being and the marital relationship.

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Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Institution of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Sahlgrenska, Göteborg University, Sweden.



The aim of this study was to assess infertile couples' short-term emotional responses to their first IVF treatment (the women's and men's emotional reactions and their experiences of the marital relationship at different stages of the first treatment) and to relate these responses to the outcome of the IVF treatment.


The study was part of a prospective, longitudinal study where 117 couples participated. The women and men answered questionnaires separately concerning psychological and social factors at three occasions: before, during and 1 month after treatment.


Women's and men's emotional reactions related to first IVF treatment were dependent on whether they achieved a pregnancy or not. Those who failed to become pregnant rated their emotional well-being worse, whereas those who became pregnant rated their emotional well-being better than before treatment started. The women reported stronger emotional reactions about their infertility than their husbands. However, the men reacted in the same emotional pattern as their wives when pregnancy was not achieved. A majority reported that the marital relationship improved during treatment.


Couples undergoing their first IVF treatment are as a group well adjusted and manage to handle the short-term emotional strain under treatment. The determining factor for short-term emotional response of treatment was whether pregnancy was achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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