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Fertility and Mental health: the impact of Assisted Reproductive Technology and fertility intentions on adults’ mental health.

Project description

Impact of medically assisted reproduction on mental health

A growing number of babies in Europe are conceived through medically assisted reproduction (MAR). Studies show the use of MAR, which coincides with delays in childbearing and high socioeconomic resources, is also changing how we think about parenthood. The EU-funded FaMART project will analyse how adults’ mental health changes before, during and after unintended, intended/natural, and natural/medically assisted conceptions. The findings will reveal the effects of fertility intentions and the mode of conception in countries where unplanned births are less common and more common, and where most MAR treatments are funded publicly and privately.

Objective

In In the last decades, low fertility rates have increasingly been a policy and societal concern. Fertility rates have been coupled to the development of contraceptive and reproductive technologies, which dramatically affect the transition to parenthood. In Western societies, where contraceptive use is widespread, unintended births are now uncommon events associated with early motherhood, family instability and low socioeconomic status. Concomitantly, the utilization of Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR), which often coincides with delays in childbearing and high socioeconomic resources, has rapidly increased and has revolutionized the way we think about parenthood. Despite growing interest from scholars and policymakers in fertility and MAR, there remains a lack of research on how fertility intentions and the mode of conception affect couples’ mental health longitudinally. By exploiting longitudinal survey data, I will be able, for the first time, to analyse how adults’ mental health changes before, during and after unintended, intended/natural and natural/medically assisted conceptions. Advanced statistical techniques (e.g. ‘distributed’ fixed effects models) will be used to remove the bias introduced by unobserved confounding factors. By examining Swedish Population register data, I will investigate how mental health changes before and after treatment among single women and (both heterosexual and lesbian) couples. The project, which will be hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Germany), integrates four research areas (sociology, demography, epidemiology and psychology) to produce novel and cutting-edge research on fertility. The aim is to shed light on the effects of fertility intentions and the mode of conception in countries where unplanned births are less common (Germany and Switzerland) and more common (the UK and the US), and where the majority of MAR treatments are funded publicly (the Sweden and Germany) and and privately (U.K.).

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Coordinator

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV
Net EU contribution
€ 162 806,40
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munchen
Germany

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Region
Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00