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Research Seeks To Find Out Child's Impact on Happiness

Update Date: Sep 10, 2014 02:47 PM EDT

Women facing difficulty in accepting the fact that they cannot have children following unsuccessful fertility treatment have worse long-term mental health compared to women who are able to let go of their desire for children, according to a new study.

The study considered around 7,000 women  to try to disentangle the different factors that may affect women's mental health over a decade after unsuccessful fertility treatment, the press release said.

"It was already known that people who have infertility treatment and remain childless have worse mental health than those who do manage to conceive with treatment. However, most previous research assumed that this was due exclusively to having children or not, and did not consider the role of other factors," said lead author Dr Sofia Gameiro, in the press release.

According to researchers, the findings show only that there is a link between an unfulfilled wish for children and worse mental health. 

"We found that women who still wished to have children were up to 2.8 times more likely to develop clinically significant mental health problems than women who did not sustain a child-wish," Dr Gameiro added. "The strength of this association varied according to whether women had children or not. For women with no children, those with a child-wish were 2.8 times more likely to have worse mental health than women without a child-wish. For women with children, those who sustained a child-wish were 1.5 times more likely to have worse mental health than those without a child-wish. This link between a sustained wish for children and worse mental health was irrespective of the women's fertility diagnosis and treatment history."

Authors of the study added that the findings underline the importance of psychological care of infertility patients. They also urged to pay more attention to their long term adjustment.

The study has been published in the journal Human Reproduction. 

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