Infertility of the literature examining the psychological consequences

Infertility in human beings is the inability of a woman to conceive or a man to father a child. Both the man and the woman may be able to with a different partner. For this, infertility is usually regarded as a condition pertaining to two people as a couple, rather than as individuals . Infertility threatens most couples’ assumption that parenthood is a part of adult life, and may be experienced as a major life crisis (Stanton ; Dunkel- Schetter, 1991).

In a review of the literature examining the psychological consequences of infertility, (Dunkel- Schetter and Lobel 1991) found that descriptive articles, based largely on clinical observations and semi-structured interviews, reported significant adjustment problems among infertile women, whereas quantitative studies found more variable results. (Stanton and Danoff- Burg’s 1995) review confirmed that levels of distress were overall not clinically significant and did not differ greatly from normative samples. In a more recent review of the literature, (Greil 1997) noted that distinctions between infertile and non-fertile populations were most pronounced in measures of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem.

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