Greek infertile women's experience undergoing in vitro fertilization

AIM To explore the experiences and attitudes of Greek infertile women who had enrolled in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) unit. MATERIAL-METHODThis was an exploratory, qualitative study, using a semi-structured interview guide (with open-ended questions). Data were collected from a purposeful sample of 15 women who were undergoing fertility treatment in an IVF unit of a big, public hospital in Athens. All the women of the sample had enrolled at least once, in an IVF treatment cycle. RESULTS All the respondents stated that womanhood is synonymous to motherhood and becoming pregnant was very important for them. The informants described how they experienced infertility, with feelings of insecurity, surprise and failure in their gender role. Social pressure and social isolation were mentioned as consequences of their involuntary childlessness. The majority of participants had high expectations of the IVF procedure and they were willing to carry on, despite the hope-disappointment cycle. Additionally impersonal care, further information about IVF and counselling needs were also addressed as issues of paramount importance to them in order to have a successful adaptation to the fertility treatment and its outcome. CONCLUSIONS In a society like the Greek, where a dominant norm is that couples should be fruitful and conceive, involuntary childlessness can be a great sorrow. A supportive approach not only from the nursing staff but especially from the medical staff of the fertility clinics, accompanied with information provision and psychosocial support, should be integral parts of a fertility treatment.

Category: Volume 47, N 1
Hits: 626 Hits
Created Date: 15-03-2008
Authors: Antigoni Sarantaki , Kleanthi Gourounti , Aikaterini Lykeridou