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Divorce or end of cohabitation among Danish women evaluated for fertility problems

Authors

  • Trille Kjaer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Survivorship, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Correspondence

      Trille Kristina Kjaer, Department of Survivorship, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Strandboulevarden 49, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. E-mail: trille@cancer.dk

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  • Vanna Albieri,

    1. Department of Statistics, Bioinformatics and Registry, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Allan Jensen,

    1. Department of Viruses, Lifestyle and Genes, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Susanne K. Kjaer,

    1. Department of Viruses, Lifestyle and Genes, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Juliane Marie Center, Clinic of Gynecology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Christoffer Johansen,

    1. Department of Survivorship, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Susanne O. Dalton

    1. Department of Survivorship, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interests in connection with this article.

Abstract

Objective

Couples with fertility problems may experience marital or sexual distress which could potentially result in dissolved relationships. We investigated the likelihood of ending a relationship among women who did not have a child after a fertility evaluation.

Design

Longitudinal cohort study.

Setting

Danish women ever referred for primary or secondary fertility problems to a public Danish hospital or private fertility clinic between 1990 and 2006.

Population

A total of 47 515 women.

Methods

The data were linked to Danish administrative population-based registries containing demographic and socioeconomic information. Discrete-time survival models were used with person-period data. Each woman was followed from the year of her initial fertility evaluation through to 2007.

Main outcome measures

Effects of parity after a fertility evaluation on the likelihood of ending a marital or cohabitation relationship.

Results

After up to 12 years of follow up, nearly 27% of the women were no longer living with the person with whom they had lived at the time of the fertility evaluation. Women who did not have a child after the evaluation had significantly higher odds ratios for ending a relationship up to 12 years after the evaluation (with odds ratios up to 3.13, 95% CI 2.88–3.41) than women who had a child, regardless of their parity before the evaluation.

Conclusions

Parity after a fertility evaluation may be an important component in the longitudinal relationships of couples with fertility problems. Studies with detailed information on marital quality and relational well-being of couples with fertility problems are needed.

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