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Abstract

Infertility affects 6.7 million women in the United States (Chandra, Copen, & Stephen, 2013). Women’s experiences with infertility are not only influenced by biological health factors, but also by social, cultural, and personal variables. Given the prevalence and complexity of infertility, additional research is needed to further examine the nuances of women’s experiences. The purpose of this multicase study, as informed by four individual cases, was to explore how women construct their infertility narratives. Review of reflective journals found five common elements: (1) Emotional Rollercoaster, (2) Mind-Body (Dis)Connection, (3) Secret Identity, (4) Supportive vs. Constrained Communication Patterns, and (5) Fatalistic- vs. Agency-Oriented Coping. Increasing our understanding of the whole experience of infertility, beyond the biological diagnosis, is essential to decreasing stigma and increasing the quality of healthcare services available for women.

Keywords

Infertility, Women’s Health, Narrative, Counseling

Author Bio(s)

Staci L. Born, EdD, LMFT, RPT-S, is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at South Dakota State University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: staci.born@sdstate.edu.

Christin L. Carotta, PhD, MEd, is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at South Dakota State University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: christin.carotta@sdstate.edu.

Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, PhD, NCC, is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at South Dakota State University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kristine.ramsayseaner@sdstate.edu.

Publication Date

12-10-2018

Creative Commons License

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

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