Living with infertility: an exploratory study of men’s experience

Panayiotou-Enness, Anastasia (2019) Living with infertility: an exploratory study of men’s experience. Other thesis, Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute.


Research on the infertility realm is mostly dominated by the female experience and on gender differences. Despite the fact that half of the infertility issues are associated with men, research on the male experience remains limited. There has recently been a change since more studies have been carried out, but the gap remains vast. This study attends to the research imbalance and aims to minimise the gap even further. It gives men a voice in the infertility realm by shedding more light on their experience. It captures how men conceptualise their infertility, what it means to become a father and the impact their condition has on their sense of Self.

The aims of the study were addressed by exploring the experience of five men with an exclusively male factor infertility. After careful consideration, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was deemed the most suitable methodology and two interviews were carried out with each participant. Following the analysis of the data, four major themes were established. These were the emerging notion of fatherhood, the disempowering impact of infertility, responding to the limitations of infertility and placing infertility in a relational frame.

This study makes a significant contribution as it provides a rich exploration of the male experience and makes an important addition to the limited research on male infertility. It also highlights how essential it is to provide this client group with an easier access to psychological interventions. The provision of information in a written format and the availability of online forums are also discussed as possible ways of supporting men with an infertility diagnosis.

APanayiotou-Enness thesis.pdf - Accepted Version

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