Maternity through assisted reproductive technology: a cross-sectional study on psychological experiences, couple relationship, and mother-child attachment


Objective. This paper aimed to investigate the psychological experiences of women who became mothers in the past three years as a result of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatments.
Materials and Methods. An online survey was designed and distributed through major social networks within thematic groups dedicated to ART. Participants completed the following standardized questionnaires: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, to evaluate depressive symptoms; Perceived Stress Scale, to assess perceived stress; General Self-Efficacy Scale, to evaluate self-efficacy; Maternal Social Support Scale, to evaluate perceived social support; Dyadic Adjustment Scale, to assess couple relationship quality; World Health Organization – Five Well-Being Index, to evaluate psychological well-being; Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale, to assess mother-child attachment.
Results. 65 women with a mean age of 35.2 years completed the online survey. Women in the sample reported higher stress levels than the general population. In addition, the quality of the couple’s relationship is slightly lower than the general average. Finally, cohesion was impaired, especially in couples where the cause of infertility was mixed. Finally, women followed by an ART centre where a psychologist worked in the team reported better scores, especially in areas related to the quality of the couple’s relationship.
Conclusions. This study allowed to explore the psychological aspects of women who became mothers after ART and to understand the complex dynamics involved in fertility treatments. Providing women undergoing ART treatments with adequate psychological support is crucial to cope with this situation positively.

Table of Content: Vol. 36 (No. 1) 2024 March

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