Many patients do not make a decision about the disposition of their surplus embryos until they are compelled to do so by statutory limits. In the current study, the characteristics of women who had conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and who still had embryos stored (E-S; n = 26) 5 years after IVF were compared to a cohort comparison group (C-C; n = 40). At time 1 (T1, 28 weeks pregnant) women completed questionnaires on personality traits (anxiety, locus of control and dependency) and participated in an interview on socio-demographic characteristics, family composition and stored embryos. At T2 (5 years later) women were re-interviewed and asked about beliefs about the embryos. Women in the E-S group were significantly younger, had been married or living with their partner for fewer years and had had more children than the C-C group. Further, women in the E-S group were more likely to have an external locus of control and a dependent personality than women in the C-C group. Almost all women in the E-S group (88.5%) thought of their embryos as siblings to existing children, and reported thinking about the embryos occasionally (61.5%) or frequently (34.6%). The personality differences identified may suggest that women who still have embryos after the end of fertility treatment may be in need of decision support.
|Journal||Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2010|
- Surplus embryos
- embryo disposition
- patient characteristics
- long-term effects of ART
- decision making