Undergoing fertility treatment provides an opportunity for infertile patients to achieve their goals of parenthood. When patients comply with treatment recommendations their chances of achieving pregnancy are around 70%. This makes compliance with treatment a central issue in reproductive medicine. However, fertility treatment presents multiple demands to patients, and many choose to opt out of (further) treatment despite a favourable prognosis and ability to cover costs.
The Cardiff Fertility Studies research team has been conducting extensive research to reach a better understanding of the demands of treatment that make patients discontinue treatment prematurely.The first goal was to scope the dimension of the problem of lack of compliance with fertility treatment and its impact on treatment success rates. The second goal was to identify predictors and relevant reasons for non-compliance that could be tackled via psychosocial support. An Integrated Approach to Fertility Care was proposed that identifies three sources of treatment burden (patient, treatment and clinic) and provides a framework for the delivery of psychosocial support interventions to promote compliance and quality of life during treatment. Finally, longitudinal prospective research is being conducted to test some of the assumptions of the Integrated Approach to Fertility Care and to develop a better understanding of how couples make decisions about uptake of (further) treatment.