Child-Free Lifestyle and the Need for Parenthood and Relationship with Marital Satisfaction among Infertile Couples

Iran J Psychiatry. 2021 Jul;16(3):243-249. doi: 10.18502/ijps.v16i3.6249.


Objective: Marital satisfaction is considered as satisfaction with a marital relationship on which the presence of a child has different effects. Concerns about a childfree life and its effect on marital satisfaction in infertile couples are very critical. Therefore, this study was intended to characterize and compare concerns about a childfree lifestyle and the need for parenthood and their relationship with marital satisfaction in infertile couples. Method : A total of 200 men and 200 women who referred to fertility centers in Tehran participated in this cross-sectional study. Convenience sampling method was used for sampling. Demographic survey, ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale, and Fertility Problem Inventory were used for data collection. The resulting data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistical tests (Pearson Correlation Coefficient and Stepwise Regression). Results: The mean scores for concern about a childfree lifestyle and the need for parenthood in women were significantly higher than in men. The variables rejection of a childfree lifestyle and the need for parenthood were respectively predictors of marital satisfaction in women and men. Conclusion: Since marital satisfaction in infertile couples is affected by their feelings about having a child and becoming a parent, it is therefore suggested that appropriate counseling be provided in supportive healthcare programs for infertile couples to promote their marital satisfaction.

Keywords: Child; Infertility; Life Style; Marital Relationship.