Women's experience of IVF: a follow-up study

Hum Reprod. 2001 Feb;16(2):374-83. doi: 10.1093/humrep/16.2.374.


The aim of this research was to increase understanding of how women feel about the experience of IVF 2-3 years after ceasing treatment. A questionnaire covering issues relating to infertility and the value of the experience of IVF together with three self-report measures [Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Golombok Rust Inventory of Marital State (GRIMS) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12)] were mailed to all women (n = 229) who had their last contact with the clinic in 1994. The response rate was 55%. Having a baby positively influenced the recall of the IVF experience. Women who did not have a baby were more critical about the clinic and more negative about the experience of treatment but did not regret having tried IVF. These women had statistically significantly lower scores on SWLS but did not differ from those with babies on GRIMS and GHQ-12 scales. The results give insight into how women look back on the IVF experience and what aspects of treatment they recall as particularly difficult. The findings can be used by providers of IVF to implement strategies that may reduce stress and improve the patients' well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Victoria