Infertility and relational satisfaction: A comparative study of dyads according to the reproductive stage

Soraia Andrade, Mariana Veloso Martins


Going through the experience of infertility has been shown to be both beneficial and detrimental to the couple relationship. This divergent evidence can be attributed to the lack of adequate control groups and not using the dyad as the unit of analysis. This study addresses these gaps by analyzing the differences in 358 couples regarding relational satisfaction and its dyadic consensus. We used multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) to test the effect of experiencing infertility in relational satisfaction and its dyadic consensus, which were assessed through the Perceived Relationship Quality Components Inventory. Female and male age, relationship length, and the partner relationship satisfaction were assessed as covariates. Results revealed no significant differences of female and male relational satisfaction and its dyadic consensus between groups, even after introducing covariates. By using the couple as the unit of analysis and differentiating between the experience of parenthood and infertility, our results suggest that there are no differences between the various reproductive stages in the way men and women perceive their relationship, and the way they agree on their satisfaction levels. Future studies assessing developmental trajectories of couples are needed to ascertain causality.


Infertility, Relational satisfaction, Dyadic consensus, Transition to parenthood.


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