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Unresolved grief in women and men in Sweden three years after undergoing unsuccessful in vitro fertilization treatment
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Reproduktiv hälsa/Sundström Poromaa)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Reproduktiv hälsa/Sundström Poromaa)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Internationell kvinno- & mödrahälsovård/Essén)
2010 (English)In: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-6349, E-ISSN 1600-0412, Vol. 89, no 10, 1290-1297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Grief is a common reaction in women after a diagnosis of infertility. The study explored the experience of childlessness in both women and men three years after undergoing unsuccessful in vitro fertilization (IVF).

METHODS: Participants (10 women and 9 men) who had attended a fertility clinic in Sweden were interviewed individually. The methodological approach was qualitative with semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: Unsuccessful IVF was experienced by women in terms of grief, whereas men took upon themselves a supportive role and did not express grief. A need for professional support and counselling in how to handle grief was described. An unstructured end after IVF treatment left unanswered questions. Partner relations were affected in both positive and negative ways and an experience of being excluded with no understanding and lack of support from their social network was revealed. Three years after the end of IVF treatment, both men and women were still processing childlessness and had not adapted to being childless, indicating the grieving process was unresolved.

CONCLUSIONS: The grieving process after unsuccessful IVF treatment was hampered among both men and women. The provision of additional individual support during IVF is recommended as men and women in this study experienced childlessness differently. Support and counselling concerning grief reactions following IVF failure, and a structured end after IVF may facilitate the grieving process after unsuccessful IVF treatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 89, no 10, 1290-1297 p.
Keyword [en]
Childlessness, depression, grief, unsuccessful IVF, qualitative interviews
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109456DOI: 10.3109/00016349.2010.512063ISI: 000282963700009PubMedID: 20846062OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-109456DiVA: diva2:272498
Available from: 2009-10-15 Created: 2009-10-15 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mood Disorders, Personality and Grief in Women and Men undergoing in vitro Fertilization Treatment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mood Disorders, Personality and Grief in Women and Men undergoing in vitro Fertilization Treatment
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Psychological problems are common in infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.  The aim of this thesis was to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, such as mood and anxiety disorders, and related risk factors and personality traits in women and men undergoing IVF.

Participants were 1090 consecutive women and men, 545 couples, attending a fertility clinic in Sweden during a two-year period. The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD), based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), was used for evaluating mood and anxiety disorders. The participation rate was 862 (79 %) subjects.

Any psychiatric disorder was present in 31 % of females and in 10 % of males. Major depression was prevalent in 11 % of females and 5 % of males. Only 21 % of the subjects with a psychiatric disorder had some form of treatment. A negative pregnancy test and obesity (BMI ≥ 30) were risk factors for mood disorders in women and the only risk factor for depression in men was unexplained infertility. Anxiety disorders were less common than in the general population and no IVF-related risk factors were identified. The Swedish universities Scales of Personality (SSP), a self-rating questionnaire, was used for evaluation of personality traits. High scores of personality traits related to neuroticism were associated with mood and/or anxiety disorders among both women and men.

Another objective was to explore the experience of childlessness three years after unsuccessful IVF by a qualitative-approach, assessing data by interviews. Failure after IVF was experienced by women in terms of grief, whereas men took upon themselves a supportive role not expressing grief. A need for professional support and counselling in how to handle grief was described. An unstructured end after IVF treatment left unanswered questions. Three years after the end of treatment, men and women were still processing and had not adapted to childlessness, indicating the grieving process was unresolved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 67 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 489
Keyword
infertility, in vitro fertilization, depression, anxiety, personality, neuroticism, grief, unsuccessful IVF
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109464 (URN)978-91-554-7630-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-11-27, IX Universitetshuset, Övre Slottsgatan 2, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-11-06 Created: 2009-10-15 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Volgsten, HelenaSkoog Svanberg, AgnetaOlsson, Pia

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