In vitro fertilisation (IVF) increases the risk of divorce by 300 per cent, according to new research.
Danish researchers studied 47,515 women in their 30s who had sought treatment for infertility between 1990 and 2006, tracking their lives over the following years. Close to half (43 per cent) were still childless seven years after beginning the treatment and 27 per cent of these had divorced or separated since the unsuccessful IVF treatment, three times more than other women.
Lead researcher Trille Kristina Kjaer told Medical Daily:
“This research is important because although earlier research has shown that fertility problems and its treatments are major stressors…especially if the treatments are unsuccessful, we did not know how many of these couples actually decide to split up if they did not get a child. Now that we know that there is a higher probability of divorce if you do not get a child after a fertility evaluation the individual couples, and also the medical staff that work with these women, can initiate proper interventions earlier and hopefully prevent some of the break ups.”
IVF has a relatively low success rate – just 32 per cent for women under 35, falling to only 13 per cent for women over 40.
The research was published in the medical journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.