Emotional adaptation following successful in vitro fertilization

ArticleinFertility and Sterility 81(5):1254-64 · June 2004with8 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2003.09.061 · Source: PubMed
To assess the emotional impact of infertility after successful IVF and to compare parents who have undergone IVF (IVF parents) and parents who have not undergone IVF (non-IVF parents) regarding parental stress and the marital relationship during the transition to parenthood. A study with qualitative and longitudinal quantitative assessments. University IVF clinics and antenatal clinics in Stockholm. Fifty-five IVF mothers, 53 IVF fathers, 40 non-IVF mothers, and 36 non-IVF fathers. IVF parents were interviewed. All subjects completed self-rating scales in early pregnancy and at 2 and 6 months postpartum. Interviews about perception of infertility and scalar measurement of parental stress and the marital relationship. Negative feelings related to infertility were not easily overcome among the IVF parents. Their levels of stress related to parenthood were similar to those of non-IVF parents, and both groups reported decreased satisfaction with the marital relationship during the transition to parenthood. The inability to conceive naturally continues to affect the current lives of a proportion of IVF parents. The results suggest that IVF parents may benefit from counseling with regard to the potential long-term impacts of infertility, disclosure issues, and decisions regarding future children. However, levels of parental stress and patterns of partner satisfaction are similar to those of parents with children conceived "naturally."
    • "Research concerning ART fathers is very limited. Higher prenatal levels of aggression and anxiety (Hjelmstedt et al., 2004) and lower self-esteem (McMahon & Gibson, 2002) have been reported. However, one study reported similar (Cohen, McMahon, Tennant, Saunders, & Leslie, 2001) and one even lower (Repokari et al., 2005 ) levels of prenatal depression among ART fathers. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A father’s mental health is important for family well-being, but research is scarce on paternal symptoms during the transition to fatherhood. This study identified fathers’ latent mental health trajectory classes from the pre- to postnatal period and examined their associations with early fathering experiences. It further analysed, whether a family’s infertility history was associated with mental health trajectory classes and moderated their effects on fathering experiences. Finnish fathers (N = 773) reported psychological distress (General Health Questionnaire; GHQ-36) and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory; BDI-13) in pregnancy (T1), and at 2 months (T2) and 12 months (T3) postpartum. They further reported their fathering experience (Parenting Stress Index; PSI-36) at T2 and T3. Results revealed five paternal mental health trajectory classes, differing in timing and course of symptoms across the pre- and postpartum: stable low (79%) and moderate increasing (9%) levels of symptoms, and prenatal (5%), early fatherhood (3%) and heterogeneous high levels of (4%) problems. The trajectory classes were associated with fathering experiences within parental, interactive and child domains, across the child’s first year. The stable low levels of symptoms-class showed the most positive experiences and the heterogeneous high levels of problems-class the most negative ones; mental health problems in the early fatherhood-class reported negative fathering experience, but only when the child was 2 months old. A family’s infertility history neither showed any significant association with trajectory classes nor moderated their impact on early fathering, supporting the growing evidence that infertility treatments do not place an additional burden on early fatherhood.
    Article · Jun 2016
    • "These results have been interpreted as potentially being attributable to the infertility experience, which, while being stressful and weakening certain individual aspects, can also activate resources, strengthen the couple relationship, and lead to improved functioning of the marital relationship (Peterson, Newton, & Rosen, 2003; Schmidt, Holstein, Christensen, & Boivin, 2005 ). Moreover , couples who undergo ART have generally functioned as a marital unit longer than couples who conceive spontaneously, which could explain why couples undergoing ART have high levels of marital satisfaction during the pregnancy (Hjelmstedt et al., 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the coparenting relationship has been described as key in family dynamics, very few studies have assessed its development during pregnancy after assisted reproductive technology (ART). In this study, the authors compared the prenatal coparenting relationship in 33 couples who conceived through ART with that of 49 couples who conceived spontaneously, and assessed the association between marital satisfaction and the prenatal coparenting alliance. The first-time parents were met during the second trimester of pregnancy. A validated observational task (the Prenatal Lausanne Trilogue Play) was used to assess their prenatal coparenting relationship, and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale was used to evaluate marital satisfaction. No differences were observed in the two groups’ global prenatal coparenting scores, but the ART couples showed less coparental playfulness than those who conceived spontaneously. Marital satisfaction was higher in women who conceived through ART. These data suggest that infertility and its treatment affect the prenatal coparenting and marital relationships in different ways.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
    • "Yet, private and potentially stigmatising topics are also of significance when parents used their own gametes, including the parents' infertility, sexual reproduction, the child's conception occurring in a laboratory and the possibility of the family being perceived as different. For example, learning that one is infertile can lead to feelings of failure, shame, grief and guilt that parents may not wish to discuss with their children (Hjelmstedt, Widström, Wramsby, & Collins, 2004). Many parents are reluctant to discuss sexual reproduction with their children because the topic is considered taboo (Irvine, 2002) or they feel unprepared to address children's questions (Byers, Sears, & Weaver, 2008; Guilamo-Ramos, Jaccard, Dittus, & Collins, 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine the moderating effect of parents’ approach to sharing information with children on the outcomes of information-sharing about in vitro fertilisation (IVF) conception. Background: Mental health professionals encourage parents to share information about IVF conception with their children, but limited research is available on associations among information-sharing, parent–child relationship quality and child adjustment. Predictions based on Communication Privacy Management Theory suggest that how parents share private information with children will moderate the association between sharing information about a child’s IVF conception and parent–child relationship quality and indirectly affect child adjustment. Method: Study hypotheses were tested using a sample of 175 families with 246 6- to 12-year-old children conceived using IVF. Path models hypothesised associations among information-sharing, parent privacy orientation, parent–child relationship satisfaction and child behavioural and emotional adjustment. Results: The results supported the proposed process. Among parents with an ‘open’ privacy orientation, IVF information-sharing with children positively related to parent–child relationship quality (r = .19, p = .03). This association was negative when parents had a ‘restricted’ privacy orientation (r = –.34, p = .01). In turn, relationship quality affected child adjustment. Conclusion: Children conceived using IVF report wanting to know about their conception method and infertility counsellors often recommend information-sharing. These findings support the need to better understand IVF information-sharing processes, and parents who favour a ‘restricted’ privacy orientation may require additional support to promote open communication with children about their IVF conception.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
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