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Symptoms of anxiety and depression in lesbian couples treated with donated sperm: a descriptive study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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2013 (English)In: British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ISSN 1470-0328, E-ISSN 1471-0528, Vol. 120, no 7, 839-846 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective To investigate symptoms of anxiety and depression in lesbian couples undergoing assisted reproductive treatment (ART), and to study the relationship of demographic data, pregnancy outcome and future reproductive plans with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Design Descriptive, a part of the prospective longitudinal Swedish study on gamete donation'. Setting All university clinics in Sweden performing gamete donation. Population A consecutive sample of 214 lesbian couples requesting assisted reproduction, 165 of whom participated. Methods Participants individually completed three study-specific questionnaires and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS): time point 1 (T1), at commencement of ART; time point 2 (T2), approximately 2months after treatment; and time point 3 (T3), 25years after first treatment. Main outcome measures Anxiety and depression (HADS), pregnancy outcome and future reproductive plans. Results The vast majority of lesbian women undergoing assisted reproduction reported no symptoms of anxiety and depression at the three assessment points. A higher percentage of the treated women, compared with the partners, reported symptoms of anxiety at T2 (14% versus 5%, P=0.011) and T3 (10% versus 4%, P=0.018), as well as symptoms of depression at T2 (4% versus 0%, P=0.03) and T3 (3% versus 0%, P=0.035). The overall pregnancy outcome was high; almost three-quarters of lesbian couples gave birth 25years after sperm donation treatments. Open-ended comments illustrated joy and satisfaction about family building. Conclusion Lesbian women in Sweden reported good psychological health before and after treatment with donated sperm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 120, no 7, 839-846 p.
Keyword [en]
Anxiety and depression, assisted reproduction, lesbian
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202352DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.12214ISI: 000318795500008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-202352DiVA: diva2:632015
Available from: 2013-06-24 Created: 2013-06-24 Last updated: 2014-01-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Same, same but different: Lesbian couples undergoing sperm donation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Same, same but different: Lesbian couples undergoing sperm donation
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The desire to have children and form a family is for many people central for life fulfilment and the desire does not differ by sexual orientation. Due a series of societal changes during the last decade, today we see a lesbian baby boom. Planned lesbian families are a relatively new group of patients and parents in reproductive health care, yet little is known about psychological wellbeing during the transition to parenthood in these families. Aim: The overall aim of this thesis was to fill a gap of knowledge about the psychological aspects of undergoing treatment with donated sperm, at the time of pregnancy and during early parenthood that affect lesbian couples forming a family. Method: This is a multicentre study comprising all 7 university clinics that perform gamete donation. The study includes lesbian couples undergoing treatment with donated sperm and heterosexual couples undergoing IVF treatment with their own gametes. Participants were recruited consecutively during 2005 and 2008. 165 lesbian couples and 151 heterosexual couples participated in the study. Participants responded questionnaires at three time points (T); time point 1 (T1) at the commencement of treatment, (T2) after the first round of treatment, around 2 month after T1 and (T3) 12-18 months after first treatment when a presumptive child had reached 1 year. Data was analysed with statistical methodology. Results: Lesbian couples reported an all over high satisfaction with relationship quality, good psychological wellbeing and low parenting stress. Heterosexual couples also reported good satisfaction with relationship quality, however somewhat lower than the lesbian couples. Parenting stress in the heterosexual couples was similar to the lesbian couples. A strong association was found between high relationship satisfaction and low parenting stress. Conclusions: Lesbian couples forming a family through sperm donation treatment are satisfied with their relationships, they report a good psychological health and experiences of low parenting stress. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 63 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 952
Lesbian couples, sperm donation, assisted reproduction, relationship quality, symptoms of anxiety and depression, parenting stress
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209985 (URN)978-91-554-8803-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-13, Gustavianum, Auditorium Minus, Uppsala, 09:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-11-21 Created: 2013-10-29 Last updated: 2014-01-23

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Publisher's full texthttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.12214/pdf

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