Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 273, Issue 1, pp 3-11

First online:

Why do couples refuse or discontinue ART?

  • A. A. DawsonAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University Schleswig-Holstein
  • , K. DiedrichAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University Schleswig-Holstein Email author 
  • , R. E. FelberbaumAffiliated withKlinikum Kempten-Oberallgaeu

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The first child born after in-vitro fertilisation, (IVF)-treatment, just passed its 26th birthday in July 2004. Since that birth-assisted reproduction techniques (ART) became a practicable technology, they had been used all over the world, and more than 2 million children were born after IVF-treatment. Despite all success in this field, ART is neither accepted nor used for all infertile couples, although this might be the only possibility of becoming pregnant. Two different kinds of ART refusal are distinguishable: the primary refusal being for financial, psychosocial, moral, ethical and medical reasons including the risk of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, the risk of multiple pregnancies and the risk of malformations. The secondary refusal includes dropouts after one or more unsuccessful IVF-treatments mainly influenced by the outcome of previous cycles (prognostic factors: oocyte and embryo count, embryo quality, females age) associated with psychological and emotional aspects. However, financial factors seem to be the most potent reasons for ART-refusal.


IVF ART refusal Therapy expenses and reimbursement Prognostic factors