There’s good news for couples who are struggling to conceive.
Those who are undergo fertility treatment are no more likely to break up, according to a new study. It’s been suggested that the disappointment of infertility and the stress of treatment can push relationships to the breaking point.
But a study of more than 40,000 women in Denmark who had fertility treatment between 1994 and 2009 found no link between it and separation or divorce. Researchers said 20 percent split up within 16 years, compared to 22 percent of women who were not treated.
The study was presented this week at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Geneva, Switzerland.
Researcher Mariana Martins said the findings should reassure couples who have had or are considering in vitro fertilization.
“Findings on the security of relationships and parenthood can be particularly helpful in supporting patients’ commitment to treatment,” said Martins, a psychology faculty member at the University of Porto in Portugal.
“We have previously found that subjects who divorce, re-partner and come back to treatment are the ones that five years before had the most stress,” she said in a meeting news release. “We also know that despite all the strain that this infertility can bring, going through [assisted reproduction treatment] can actually bring benefit to a couple’s relationship, because it forces them to improve communication and coping strategies.”
Studies presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more on assisted reproductive technology.