Life after unsuccessful IVF treatment in an assisted reproduction unit: a qualitative analysis of gains through loss among Chinese persons in Hong Kong
Authors: Lee, Geok Ling; Hui Choi, W.H.; Chan, Celia H.Y.; Chan, Cecilia L.W.; Ng, Ernest H.Y.
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 24, Number 8, 29 August 2009 , pp. 1920-1929(10)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Previous studies examining experiences of infertility focused mainly on the aspect of loss but neglected the possible gains realized through surviving the experience of infertility. The success rate of IVF remains relatively low, and we used the strengths perspective to examine adjustment after unsuccessful treatment. This study aims to provide an in-depth description of the gains perceived by Chinese men and women and how they re-constructed their lives after unsuccessful IVF treatment.
Four couples and another six women who experienced unsuccessful IVF treatment were recruited from an assisted reproduction clinic. Data were collected through in-depth interviews, using a grounded theory constructivist approach.
Of the 10 women and 4 men interviewed, 9 remained childless, 3 had adopted a child and 2 had conceived naturally. They reported gains on a personal level, interpersonal level and transpersonal level through surviving the experience of infertility. All, regardless of the eventual outcome, reported at least one form of personal gain: in personality or knowledge gain. Interpersonal gains were perceived in relationships with their spouses, children, parents, friends, colleagues and fellow IVF service users. More than half of them reported spiritual growth and a change in identity through integrating their experiences and offering help to others.
Despite the small sample size, this study makes a significant contribution by suggesting that while negative feelings provoked by the failure to conceive should be acknowledged, people in this situation should also be enabled to consolidate their negative experiences of IVF constructively, helping them to move on with their lives.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-08-29
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.