Infertility and its associated treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), can have a profound impact on the emotional health and well-being of women desiring to become mothers. Researchers have measured the impact of infertility and described the experience of infertility and its treatment, leaving the rich descriptions of the IVF experience as captured in women’s blogs to be explored. This discourse analysis describes the blogging practices of women undergoing IVF, exploring both the content and function of the IVF blog discourse. Data were collected from the text of seven women’s blogs (n=1,149 blog posts) and resulted in four main functions of the discourse: creation of and connection to a community, emotional support, blogging as therapy, and creation of an IVF resource. Findings suggest that blogging can have a positive impact on the psychosocial consequences experienced by women in fertility treatment.


Discourse Analysis, Fertility/Infertility, Internet, Research Online, Research Qualitative, Blogs

Author Bio(s)

Elizabeth Orr, RN, MSc, is a PhD student in the School of Nursing at McMaster University. Her research interests include women’s health issues particularly perinatal and maternal/child health, qualitative research methods, and research ethics. She also maintains a staff nurse position in the NICU at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: orr.elizabeth@mcmaster.ca.

Susan Jack, RN, PhD, is Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Associate Member, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact at McMaster University. Her program of research focuses on community based approaches to the prevention of family violence, including child maltreatment and intimate partner violence. She is experienced in designing and conducting qualitative research through the application of a range of qualitative research traditions, as well as integrating qualitative research into mixed methods studies for the purpose of intervention development and evaluation. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: jacksm@mcmaster.ca.

Wendy Sword, RN, PhD is Director of the School of Nursing and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa. She has a long-standing academic career and program of research in perinatal health and health services, with a particular interest in vulnerable populations. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: wendy.sword@uottawa.ca.

Sandra Ireland, PhD, is a former Director of Nursing Practice at both Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University. Her research interests have included adherence to treatment in stroke prevention and the implementation and evaluation of nursing best practices. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: irelandsandra@bell.net.

Lois M. Ostolosky, RSW, MSW is a clinical social worker practicing psychotherapy in Primary Care in London, ON. She holds Adjunct Faculty status in the Department of Family Medicine at Western University. Lois is the founder Conceiving Wellness, a private practice dedicated to those experiencing infertility, miscarriage and reproductive trauma. She is also a member of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society Counselling Special Interest Group. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: lois@conceivingwellness.com.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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