Unresolved grief in women and men in Sweden three years after undergoing unsuccessful in vitro fertilization treatment
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
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.
Childlessness, depression, grief, unsuccessful IVF, qualitative interviews
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject Obstetrics and Gynaecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109456DOI: 10.3109/00016349.2010.512063ISI: 000282963700009PubMedID: 20846062OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-109456DiVA: diva2:272498