By Gianna Huesch
New research has found there is no link between divorce rates and fertility treatments, disproving past claims that undergoing fertility treatments is linked to marital breakdown. While there is no doubt that infertility places stress on couples due to its emotional and psychological impact, the new findings suggest that undergoing IVF procedures does not in fact influence divorce rates.
Previously, a 2014 study in Denmark found that fertility issues exposed couples to severe stress and it was widely concluded that this was likely to lead to marriage crises and higher divorce rates.
However, the new study of more than 42,000 Danish women going through fertility treatment debunked this theory.
Conducted by psychology researchers at the University of Porto, Portugal, the findings were recently presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology held in Geneva.
The study followed the women and their relationships over a period of 16 years with results compared to a control group of women from the general population. After controlling for variables like age and education, no major differences were found between the groups. Women in both groups were found to be at a similar risk of separation, leading to the finding that participating in IVF procedures does not increase the chance of divorce.
Explaining that the 2014 findings linking infertility to high stress in couples were not necessarily incompatible with the new findings, the researchers said that stress could in fact strengthen relationships, because “learning to overcome these obstacles (infertility, failed treatments, exposure to procedures that do not guarantee positive results) might in fact consolidate relationships”.
The inherent strain of infertility and going through IVF procedures “can actually bring benefit to a couple’s relationship, because it forces them to improve communication and coping strategies”.
The researchers conclude the new results are “reassuring for couples who have had or are contemplating IVF”.
Do you need assistance with a family law matter? Please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our solicitors, Sharla Stevens or Angela Li, at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information about how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance.