Background Couples undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment suffer as dyads from the stressful experience of the painful treatment and the fear that the IVF cycle will fail. They are likely to report that their marital relationship has become unstable due to the prolonged period of treatment. Methods This is a qualitative study that was conducted to explore the experiences that Chinese couples have had with IVF treatment, especially their perceptions of the process and the support between couples. Results The interviews revealed that couples suffered from the process, experiencing physical and emotional pain, struggling with the urgency and inflexibility of bearing a child, and experiencing disturbances in their daily routines and work. The participants described how they endured the hardships as a couple and how it affected their relationship. The couples felt that sharing feelings and supporting each other contribute to psychological well-being and improves the marital relationship. They also identified some unfavorable aspects in their partner relationship. They were ambivalent about receiving social support from friends and family members. Conclusions With the couples indicating that the support that they received from each other affected their experience during the treatment process, it is suggested that a supportive intervention that focuses on enhancing the partnership of the couples and dealing with their inflexibility on the issue of bearing a child might result in improvements in the psychological status and marital relationship of infertile couples undergoing IVF treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)