Couples who adopt after unsuccessful IVF treatment have a better quality of life than both childless couples and couples without fertility problems, reveals a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
A research group comprising midwives and doctors at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, studied quality of life five years after IVF treatment in 979 men and women in the Västra Götaland region.
The study compared couples whose IVF treatment had failed with those whose treatment had resulted in children, those who did not have any fertility problems and those who, following unsuccessful IVF treatment, decided to adopt. It shows that quality of life, measured as psychological wellbeing and a feeling of connection, was highest among couples who had adopted.
It was lowest among couples whose IVF treatment had failed and who were still childless.
"This shows that quality of life is strongly linked with children, irrespective of whether they're the result of spontaneous pregnancies, adoption or step-children," says professor Marie Berg of the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, who worked on the study.
"The results show that it can be important to consider adoption as soon as couples seek medical help for infertility, especially now that we know that adoption enhances quality of life. As things stand, the issue of adoption is pursued only once IVF treatment has failed."
The research group behind the study comprised midwives and doctors working at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and at the fertility units at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Skaraborg Hospital Skövde and the county hospitals in Borås and Uddevalla.
The article "Quality of life after adopting compared with childbirth with or without assisted reproduction" has been published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.
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