Infertility : male and female perspectives : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

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Although the experience of infertility has been a widely investigated phenomenon, the particular perspective of each gender has received little research attention. The primary objective of the present study was to generate a grounded theory regarding the lived experiences of infertility from male and female perspectives. Ten couples involved in varying stages of the infertility process participated in a series of interviews. Each interview was audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Participants collectively described changes over time in their reaction to, and experience of, infertility. A local theory was generated from the data which described an evolving process whereby participants adjusted to living with infertility. Hence, the core category of adapting to living with infertility emerged, as it clearly underpinned the participants' data when discussing the psycho-social experiences of infertility. For participants to deal with, respond to, and overcome the effects associated with the phenomenon in a productive manner, an adaptation to living with infertility was required. It was determined that the core category consisted of four pre-existing conditions. The first of these conditions contributing to the core category of adapting to living with infertility related to participants' rationale for desiring the parenthood experience. The second pre-existing condition was based upon the medical process undergone by all participants. Participants' attempts to make meaning of events comprised the third pre-existing condition, and finally, lifestyle adjustments constituted the fourth pre-existing condition involved in the core category of adjusting to living with infertility. The second objective of the present research pertained to gender specific experiences within these conditions. It was established that, although women and men experience some aspects of infertility in a similar manner, they are affected differently by the experience in some areas of life. The findings, together with implications for future research, and for working clinicians are discussed in more detail.
Appendix D Page 194 text is missing down left side.
New Zealand, Psychological aspects, Infertility, Female, Male