Infertility Related Issues and Challenges: Perspectives of Patients, Spouses, and Infertility Experts

Article Title: Infertility Related Issues and Challenges: Perspectives of Patients, Spouses, and Infertility Experts

Author(s): Bushra Naz & Syeda Shahida Batool

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, GC University Lahore

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2017, Vol. 15, No.2, 3-11

Correspondence Address: Syeda Shahida Batool, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Government College University Lahore (Pakistan), Email: shahidaphd@yahoo.com

Abstract

The study was conducted to explore ‘psychosocial problems’ of infertile men and women in Lahore, Pakistan. Semi structured interviews were used to collect the data from thirty participants (10-infertile men and women, 10-spouses and 10-infertility experts). Purposive sampling technique was used to collect the data from the participants selected from infertility departments of four hospitals. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for thematic analysis. After analyzing the data, eight major themes emerged that highlighted the problem areas; 1) social problems, 2) family pressure, 3) personal concerns, 4) psychological problems, 5) sexual problems, 6) marital conflict, 7) treatment related concerns, and 8) coping. Despite the fact that both men and women were experiencing comparable psychosocial problems (e.g., curious and pinching questions by family and society); emotional disturbance (e.g., depression, anxiety and stress); personal problems (e.g., self-desire to become parents); marital conflict (e.g., threat of separation and dominant attitude of partner), the data also revealed gender specific infertility related problems. Men predominantly reported disorientation about the problem, masculinity ego, hiding their infertility, showing resistant to treatment. Whereas; the women reported to be undergoing family and social pressure, social maladjustment, agony of diagnosis and treatment procedures, and stress related to monthly cycle. The results suggest gender specific problems to be taken into account while dealing with infertility related issues. It was concluded that the understanding of social and psychological context of infertility related problems will later on provide the basis for effective psychosocial intervention plan.

Keywords: infertility, psychosocial problems, social maladjustment, thematic analysis.

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