Fathering a child is an important aspect of the identity of a man as motherhood is for a woman. Male factor infertility is one reason for the inability to father a child and this can contribute to many issues for a man at a personal or societal level. Although male infertility is a major contributing factor for the overall infertility for couples, our understanding of it is minimal. The objective of this exercise is to describe the meanings that men attach to their inability to reproduce and the conceptualisations of male infertility. A phenomenological approach has been used to analyse texts and available scholarly material.
The phenomenological approach used to understand the conceptualisation of male infertility enabled the identification of stages of the infertility experience for men. The analysis also reveals that male infertility mostly centers around sexuality and masculinity of a man and thus the inability to reproduce questions their manhood.


Male Infertility, Masculinity, Sexuality, Phenomenology, Manhood, Conceptualisations

Author Bio(s)

Ms. Sunu C Thomas is a PhD scholar at Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, SCTIMST, Trivandrum (Southern India/Kerala). Her work focuses on identifying the various pathways that couples with infertility take to resolve infertility. Her research interests are gender and reproductive health. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: sunusarathomas@gmail.com.


I would like to express my gratitude to my PhD guide Dr. Mala Ramanathan, Professor, AMCHSS for her help in the interpretation of the themes identified and correcting the manuscript. I would like to thank Dr. Vijayprasad Gopichandran, Assistant Professor, ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR for critical comments and help in revising the manuscript. I would like to thank Perumal Murugan for responding to my questions on the exact meaning that attaches to the Tamil word “ori” in the context of male infertility.

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





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