Infertility in Romantic Relationships: Relationship Quality and Stability among Married and Cohabiting Couples

Jasmine Fledderjohann, Pennsylvania State University
Katherine Stamps Mitchell, Louisiana State University

Over two million American women are infertile, and over seven million more experience impaired fecundity at some point. Though an extensive body of literature documents the deleterious effects of infertility on psychological well-being, less is known about the implications for relationship quality and stability. Employing event history techniques using nationally representative data from the first two waves of the National Survey of Fertility Barriers (NSFB), the present study contributes to understanding of the role of infertility and subfecundity in contemporary romantic relationships. Self- and clinically-identified infertility measures are used to predict relationship quality and stability among both married and cohabiting couples. In addition, we consider the role of social parenthood for individuals who have experienced multiple partnerships. Preliminary results suggest that women’s primary and secondary infertility, subfecundity, and fertility treatments are associated with both relationship quality and instability in complex ways.

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Presented in Poster Session 4