Living the life: Explanations of infertility.


Journal Article

This paper addresses the paradoxes of infertility and the explanatory models infertile couples construct to resolve them. The analysis is based on multiple interviews with 53 infertile couples and a comparison group of 10 couples with no fertility impairments in the process of achieving parenthood through pregnancy and adoption, and single interviews with three infertile couples one to two years after having their last child. Couples defined infertility functionally, behaviourally, empirically and phenomenologically to create explanatory models that had one of five organising principles at their core: a) once infertile, always infertile; b) once fertile, always fertile: c) fertile but infertile by prescription; d) pregnancy as cure for infertility; and d) infertile enough but not proven infertile. These models served to integrate and give purpose to infertile couples' experiences of pain and triumph. Copyright © 1990, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sandelowski, M; Holditch‐Davis, D; Harris, BG

Published Date

  • January 1, 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 195 - 215

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9566

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0141-9889

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1467-9566.ep11376477

Citation Source

  • Scopus