Psychosocial care for unsuccessful fertility treatment (PCUFT)

For many fertility patients, assisted reproduction represents their last chance to achieve parenthood.

In the UK, 58% of people who started In Vitro Fertilisation treatment between 1999 and 2008 did not achieve a live birth after three complete cycles. The proportion of people who do not achieve parenthood with ART may vary across countries due to restrictions to treatment access, but even the most optimist estimations show that, on average, at least two in every 10 fertility patients end treatment without a live birth.

Undergoing fertility treatment is physically and emotionally demanding and ending it without a child triggers an intense and protracted grief process associated with impaired wellbeing and mental-health. In survey research 9 in every ten patients reported they would like to discuss the possibility of treatment being unsuccessful as part of the routine care they receive at their clinics. However only around 35% of patients reported having had such discussion.

This project aimed to develop psychoeducational materials for fertility clinics and patients about how to cope if treatment is unsuccessful, other routes to parenthood, and signposting for evidence-based support ( Materials were co-produced with our partners and based on consultation (focus groups) with healthcare professionals, patient advocates, and patients from multiple countries in Europe and Latin America.

The project also aimed to extend the international reach of MyJourney by translating it to Spanish (Europe, Latin America) and German.

Resources produced by the Psychosocial care for unsuccessful fertility treatment (PCUFT) project

Project Team

  • Dr Sofia Gameiro

    Cardiff University School of Psychology
  • Mariana Sousa Leite

    Cardiff University School of Psychology