Iranian infertile couples' strategies to manage social interactions after unsuccessful treatments with assisted reproductive technologies

Ebrahimzadeh Zagami, Samira, Latifnejad Roudsari, Robab, Janghorban, Roksana, Mousavi Bazaz, Seyed Mojtaba, Amirian, Maliheh and Allan, Helen T. ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Iranian infertile couples' strategies to manage social interactions after unsuccessful treatments with assisted reproductive technologies. Human Fertility, 24 (5) . pp. 341-352. ISSN 1464-7273 [Article] (doi:10.1080/14647273.2019.1677950)

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Many infertile couples feel vulnerable after failed treatment cycles and find insensitive remarks or inappropriate support distressing. They fear that the stress of failed treatment cycles may affect their marriage and lead to marriage breakdown. This study explored the strategies a sample of infertile couples used to manage social interactions after unsuccessful treatment with assisted reproductive technologies. A descriptive qualitative study was conducted with 34 participants including nine infertile couples, nine infertile women and two infertile men with primary infertility, two relatives, and three fertility clinic staff. The participants were selected through purposive sampling at an infertility centre in Iran, between 2016 and 2017. Data were collected using semi-structured face-to-face interviews and analysed by qualitative content analysis approach. Participants found some social interactions after failed assisted reproductive treatment cycles to be distressing and painful. They described tolerating painful emotions which cause them sadness and sorrow as well as feeling embarrassed. As a result, they found they needed to maintain their adopting concealment strategies with their families through not permitting speculation, selective disclosure, not giving details and hiding the truth. This study showed that social interactions following failed assisted reproductive cycles can be upsetting for infertile couples. Couples use different strategies to manage potentially distressing social interactions. Healthcare providers and psychologists may provide a space for safe social interactions in order to help couples to use appropriate strategies in these circumstances.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Assisted reproductive technology, descriptive qualitative study, infertile couple, interpersonal relations, social adjustment, treatment failure
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Adult, Child and Midwifery
Item ID: 27236
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Human Fertility on 17/10/2019, available online:
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Depositing User: Helen Allan
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2019 13:02
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:42

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