Share This Article:

An exploratory study of South African women’s experiences of In Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer (IVE-ET) at fertility clinics

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:95KB) PP. 470-478
DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.38063    4,694 Downloads   6,575 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Infertility is considered to be a growing problem worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, at least 20%-50% of couples of reproductive age experience a fertility problem and 30% are diagnosed with infertility. This study explores the experiences of women in South Africa who are involuntary childless and explores their psychological and emotional experiences of In Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET). Utilising a qualitative methodology, a diverse group of 21 married women diagnosed with infertility and who had undergone at least two cycles of IVF-ET were recruited. Semi-structured, in-depth individual interviews were conducted and the data were analysed using thematic analysis. The results of the study indicated that the women perceived themselves as not conforming to a dominant belief system and as a result felt compelled to explore all the medical options available. They reported emotional turmoil characterised by primary binary emotions of anxiety-excitement and nervousness-optimistic. These emotions were experienced throughout the five stages of the IVF-ET treatment cycles. A synopsis of the psychological and emotional responses to the IVF-ET treatment is discussed. The findings of this study suggest the need for the incorporation of a mandatory psychosocial intervention as part of infertility management. Greater attention to the psychological and emotional repercussions of infertility treatment could lead to a more personalised client-approach which, in turn, would prepare infertile women and couples for the emotional demands of the treatment.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Pedro, A. and Mwaba, K. (2013) An exploratory study of South African women’s experiences of In Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer (IVE-ET) at fertility clinics. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 470-478. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.38063.

References

[1] Inhorn, M.C. (1994) Interpreting infertility: Medical anthropological perspectives. Social Science and Medicine, 39, 59-461.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536(94)90089-2
[2] Okonofua, F. (1999) Infertility and women’s reproductive health in Africa. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 3, 7-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3583224
[3] Van Balen, F. and Gerrits, T. (2001) Quality of infertility care in poor-resource areas and the introduction of new reproductive technologies. Human Reproduction, 16, 215-219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/16.2.215
[4] Martin, A. (1997) Women’s health project. Infertility: A literature review and annotated bibliography. Wits Press, Johannesburg
[5] Dyer, S.J., Abrahams, N., Hoffman, M., and van der Spuy, Z.M. (2002) Infertility in South African: Women’s reproductive health knowledge and treatment-seeking behaviour for involuntary childlessness. Human Reproduction, 17, 1657-1662.
[6] Futeran, F.C. (1989) An exploratory study of the differences between a functional infertile, an organically infertile and a fertile group of married couples on the dimension of interactional functioning and mutual perceptions between partners. Unpublished Master’s Dissertation. University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
[7] Sundby, J., Mboge, R. and Sonko, S. (1998) Infertility in the Gambia: Frequency and health care seeking. Social Science and Medicine, 46, 891-899.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(97)00215-3
[8] Abbey, A., Andrew, F.M. and Halman, J.L. (1991) Gender’s role in responses to infertility. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 295-316.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1991.tb00798.x
[9] Larsen, U. (2000) Infertility in central Africa. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 8, 354-367.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3156.2003.01039.x
[10] Larsen, U. (2000) Primary and secondary infertility in sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Epidemiology, 29, 80-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.2.285
[11] Wiswedel, K. and Allen, D.A. (1989) Infertility factors at the Groote Schuur Hospital Fertility Clinic. South African Medical Journal, 76, 65-66.
[12] Cooper-Hilbert, B. (1998) Infertility and involuntary childlessness. W.W. Norton and Company Ltd., London.
[13] Davajan, V. and Israel, R. (1991) Diagnosis and medical treatment of infertility: Perspectives from Stress and Coping Research. 29-57.
[14] Eunpu, D.L. (1995) The impact of infertility and treatment. Guidelines for couple therapy. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 23, 115-128.
[15] Williams, M.E. (1997) Toward greater understanding of the psychological effects of infertility on women. Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 16, 7-28.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J294v16n03_02
[16] Riessman, C. (2000) Stigma and everyday resistance practices; childless women in South India. Gender and Society, 14, 111-135.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/089124300014001007
[17] Abbey, A. (2000) Adjusting to infertilityloss and trauma: General and close. Relationship Perspectives, 331-344.
[18] Becker, G. and Nachtigall, R.D. (1994) “Born to be a Mother”: The cultural construction of risk in infertility treatment in the US. Social Science and Medicine, 39, 507-518. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536(94)90093-0
[19] Bliss, C. (1999) The social construction of infertility by minority women. Doctoral Dissertation.
[20] McEwan, K.L., Costella, C.G. and Taylor, P.J. (1987) Adjustment to infertility. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 96, 108-116.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.96.2.108
[21] Leke, R.J., Oduma, J.A., Bassol-Mayagoitia, S., Bacha, A.M. and Grigor, K.M. (1993) Regional and geographical variation in infertility: Effects of environmental, cultural and socioeconomic factors. Environmental Health Perspectives, 101, 73-80.
[22] Blenner, J.L. (1992) Patients’ perceptions of infertility treatment. American Journal of Nursing, 41, 92-97.
[23] Savage, O.M. (1992) Artificial donor insemination in Yaounde: Some socio-cultural considerations. Social Science and Medicine, 35, 907-913.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536(92)90105-Y
[24] Sonko, S. (1994) Fertility and culture in sub-Saharan Africa: A review. United Nations Educational Scientific Certified Organisation, 141, 397-411.
[25] Venkatesan, L. (2005) Self-concept of infertile women. Nursing Journal of India, 96, 55-56.
[26] Beutel, M., Kupfer, P., Kehde, S., Kohn, F.M., Schroeder-Printzen, I., Gips, H., Herrero, H.J.G. and Weidner, W. (1999) Treatment-related stresses and depression in couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatment IVF or ICSI. Andrologia, 31, 27-35
[27] Frediani, J.M. (1999) The effects of infertility on status and access to resources among Wamakonde women in Tanzania. Dissertation, University of California at Davis.
[28] Gordon, T. (1990) Feminist mothers. MacMillan Education Ltd., London.
[29] Green, Y.T. (2003) Women’s health at the centers for disease control and prevention: A focus on prevention. Journal of Women’s Imaging, 5, 47-51.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00130747-200305000-00001
[30] Sawicki, J. (1991) Disciplining Foucault: feminism, power, and the body. Routledge, Chapman and Hall Inc., New York.
[31] Goslinga-Roy, G. (2000) Body boundaries fiction of the female self: an ethnographic perspective on power, feminism, and the reproductive technologies.
[32] Burns, L.H. (1999) Psychology of infertility. In: Burns, L.H. and Covington, S.N., Eds., Infertility Counselling. Pathernon, New York.
[33] Morrow, K.A., Thoreson, R.W. and Penny, L.T. (1995) Predictors of psychological distress among infertility clinic patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 163-167.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.63.1.163
[34] Domar, A.D., Zuttermeister, P.C. and Friedman, R. (1973) The psychological impact of infertility: A comparison with patients with other Medical Conditions. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 14, 45-52.
[35] Burr, V. (1995) An introduction to social construction. London Routledge.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203299968
[36] Grbich, C. (1999) Qualitative research in health. An introduction. Sage, London.
[37] Marshall, H. (1993) Not having children. Oxford University Press, Australia.
[38] Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies. (1993) Proceed with care. Final report of the royal commission on new reproductive technologies summary and highlights. The Commission, Ottawa.
[39] Reproductive Health Network (2003) Reproductive Health Network. http://www.reproductivehealth.net/
[40] Mechanic, D. (1998) Public trust and initiatives for new healthcare partnerships. The Milbank Quarterly, 76, 281-302. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0009.00089
[41] Daniluk, J.C. (2001) “If we had it to do over again…” Couples’ reflections on their experiences of infertility treatments. The Family Journal: Counselling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 9, 122-133.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.