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Despite the high prevalence of infertility in Africa, the study ofreproductive health in Africa, has for the most part, not addressed the impactof involuntary childlessness on women. In contrast, the health priority hasbeen on fertility regulation rather than on infertility. In Sub-Saharan Africa,at least 20% - 50% of couples of reproductive age experience a fertilityproblem and 30% are diagnosed with infertility. This study explored a sampleof South Africa women’s psychological and emotional experiences of infertilityor involuntary childlessness. Utilising a qualitative methodology, 21 marriedwomen who were diagnosed with infertility were recruited. Semi-structured, indepthindividual interviews were conducted and the data were analysed using thematicanalysis. The results of the study indicated that the women reported emotionalturmoil characterised by emotions such as disappointment and shock, anger andfrustration, a deep sense of sadness and then progressed to experience a senseof acknowledgement that a problem existed. Within each of these emotionalphases the emotions of hope and optimism were present. The findings of thisstudy suggest that severe psychological and emotional tug-of-war effectsaccompany infertility. Possible coping strategies for women struggling withinfertility are discussed.

KEYWORDS

Infertility, Psychological and Emotional Trauma, Motherhood, Involuntary Childlessness

Cite this paper

Pedro, A. and Andipatin, M. 2014 A Qualitative Exploration of South African Women’s Psychological and Emotional Experiences of Infertility. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 327-337. doi: 10.4236-ojpm.2014.45040.





Author: Athena Pedro, Michelle Andipatin

Source: http://www.scirp.org/



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