Psychosocial Problems Experienced by Infertile Women and Stigmatization: A Qualitative Study

Creative Commons License


Acıbadem Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Dergisi, vol.14, no.1, pp.82-89, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Purpose: This study aims to determine the psychosocial problems experienced by infertile women and their stigmatization statuses. Methods: This study qualitative was conducted in the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Center of a university hospital in Turkey between November 2016-May 2017. Sample of the study was consisted 42 infertile women who agreed to participate in the study. Data were collected through a semi-structured “Interview Form” consisting of eight open-ended questions to determine the psychosocial problems experienced by the women in relation to infertility. Collected data were analyzed with method of content analysis. Results: From the in-depth interviews conducted with the infertile women, four main themes emerged to include ten sub-themes revealing the psychosocial problems they experienced and their stigmatization statuses as sorrow, feeling of guilt, childlessness stigmatization, loss of feeling of motherhood, stress (psychologically), perceived social pressure, social isolation (socially), lack of sexual drive, feeling of sexual failure (sexual life) and financial loss (economically). Conclusion: In the study, it was determined that the women who were receiving infertility treatment experienced many psychosocial problems and stigmatization due to their childlessness, and they limited their social lives to especially avoid questions directed to them about having a child and avoid talking to pregnant women/families and women/families with children. Based on these results, it is recommended for nurses who work at assisted reproductive treatment centers and especially have the opportunity to communicate with infertile women for longer to determine the psychosocial problems experienced by women throughout treatment process and provide psychosocial support and counselling they need.