Childless or? Attitudes towards Continued Medical Treatment among Childless Couples Undergoing Fertility Treatment in Denmark

Lisbeth B. Knudsen, Aalborg University
Lone Schmidt, University of Copenhagen
Gitte Lindved Petersen, University of Copenhagen
Lene Toelboell Blenstrup, Aalborg University

We analyze choices childless couples make during the course of high tech fertility treatment to find a way out of their childlessness, based on a 5 year follow-up study of 1.027 couples in Denmark, initiating fertility treatment 1.1.2000 – 31.8.2001. Both partners completed three rounds of questionnaires, irrespectively whether they achieved pregnancy. The questionnaires include socio-demographic characteristics, attitudes towards continued medical treatment and whether they consider adoption as an option in case of no pregnancy. We focus on still childless couples, who during the 5 year follow-up period deliberately end treatment by rejecting further trials and who were still living together. Decisions and reasons for ending treatment are analyzed considering how the childlessness influenced both their work, social and everyday life and their attitudes towards opting for in-adoption as opposed to continuation of medical treatment. Results will be discussed in relation to meanings attached to parenthood in late modern society.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 90: Infertility and Childlessness: Determinants, Choices, Treatments and Consequences