Undergoing fertility treatment in Denmark without getting a child: consequences for the men and women in the couples

Lene Toelboell Blenstrup, Aalborg University
Lone Schmidt, University of Copenhagen
Lisbeth B. Knudsen, Aalborg University

In Denmark, fertility treatment has been estimated to account for 6 per cent of all births in Denmark 2003 and the proportion is at present approaching 10 per cent. We present characteristics of couples as well as the individuals in couples, who were enrolled in a five-year-follow-up study in Denmark. The couples initiated fertility treatment in one of four public and one private fertility clinic in Denmark in the period 1st January 2000 – 31st August 2001 (The COMPI-cohort). Of those invited, 2,250 individuals (80 per cent) completed the so-called base-line questionnaire, individually by both partners in 1,069 couples. Of those traceable, 87.7 per cent (1,934 individuals) completed a 1 year follow-up questionnaire and further, a five-year follow-up questionnaire, was completed by 69.4 per cent of those traceable and alive at that time. The findings presented here will be the first part of a large study which is based on a combination of the questionnaire data with register data on the population under treatment and a comparable population, not undergoing treatment. The analyses presented will focus on those couples who do not get a child as a result of the treatment, the similarities and differences in the partners’ experience of infertility related stress and their mutual communication during the treatment period. Further, the couples’ sociodemographic characteristics and whether they deliberately choose to refrain from further treatment, even though they have no child, will be included. Finally, sociodemographic consequences of the ongoing reproductive problems will be discussed.

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Presented in Session 64: Sexual and reproductive health: infertility and assisted reproductive technologies