Ivana Janković, Jelisaveta Todorović

DOI Number
First page
Last page


In this article, we have analyzed the experiences of women with infertility. We were interested in what we can learn about their feelings, thoughts and problems by analyzing the results obtained in qualitative research. We analyzed 10 qualitative studies dealing with infertile women. Using the thematic analysis, we identified seven core themes: Motherhood, Stories of Infertility, All Colors of Feelings, Changes in Identity, Complexity of Partnership, Social Environment (Social Support), Coping Strategies. Each selected core theme includes a number of subthemes. The article explains in detail each selected theme, and their justification is supported by appropriate quotations.


experience, infertility, qualitative research, women

Full Text:



Abbey, A., F. M. Andrews, & L. J. Halman. “Gender’s role in responses to infertility”. Psychology of Women Quarterly 15 (1991): 295–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1991.tb00798.x

Bell, K. “Constructions of ‘Infertility’ and Some Lived Experiences of Involuntary Childlessness”. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work 28, 3 (2013): 284–295. doi: 10.1177/0886109913495726

Blyth, E., & R. Moore. “Involuntary childlessness and stigma”. In Stigma and social exclusion in healthcare, edited by T. Mason, C. Carliste, & E. Whitehead, 217–245. London and England: Routledge, 2001.

Braun, V. & V. Clarke. “Using thematic analysis in psychology”. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3 (2006): 77–101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Ceballo, R., T. E. Graham, & J. Hart. “Silent and Infertile: An Intersectional Analysis of the Experiences of Socioeconomically Diverse African American Women with Infertility”. Psychology of Women Quarterly 39, 4 (2015): 497–511. doi: 10.1177/0361684315581169

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infertility FAQs (Reproductive Health). Accessed July 6, 2020.

Culley, L., N. Hudson, & M. Hohan. “Where are all the men? The marginalization of men in social scientific research on infertility”. Reproductive BioMedicine Online 27 (2013): 225–235. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.06.009

Fekkes, M., S. Buitenijk, G. Verrips, D. Braat, A. Braeways, J. Dolfing… N. Macklon. “Health related quality of life in relation to gender and age in couples planning IVF treatment”. Human Reproduction 18 (2003): 1536–1543.

Ferland, P., & L. S. Caron. “Exploring the Long-term Impact of Female Infertility: A Qualitative Analysis of Interviews with Postmenopausal Women who Remained Childless”. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families 21, 2 (2013): 180–188. doi: 10.1177/1066480712466813

Fernandes, P., M. Papaikonomou, & J. M. Nieuwoudt. “Women suffering through their Bodies”. South African Journal of Psychology 36, 4 (2006): 851–879. doi: 10.1177/008124630603600412

Gerrity, A. D. “Biopsychosocial Theory of Infertility”. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families 9, 2 (2001): 151–158. doi: 10.1177/1066480701092009

Hammerberg, K., J. Astbury, & H. W. B. Baker. “Women’s experience of IVF: A follow-up study”. Human Reproduction 16 (2001): 374–383. doi: 10.1093/humrep/16.2.374

McBain, D. T & P. Reeves. “Women’s Experience of Infertility and Disenfranchised Grief”. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families 27, 2 (2019): 156–166. doi: 10.1177/1066480719833418

Mete, S., S. Fata, & M. Aluş Tokat. “Feelings, opinions and experiences of Turkish women with infertility: A qualitative study”. Health Informatics Journal 26, 1 (2020): 528–538. doi: 10.1177/1460458219839628

Mindes, E. J., K. M. Ingram, W. Kliewer, & C. A. James. “Longitudinal analyses of the relationship between unsupportive social interactions and psychological adjustment among women with fertility problems”. Social Science & Medicine 56 (2003): 2165–2180. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(02)00221-6.

Parry, C. D. “Understanding Women’s Lived Experiences with Infertility: Five Short Stories”. Qualitative Inquiry 10, 6 (2004): 909–922. doi: 10.1177/1077800403261852

Slade, P., J. Emery, & B. A. Lieberman. “A prospective, longitudinal study of emotions and relationships in in-vitro fertilization treatment”. Human Reproduction 12 (1997): 183–190. doi: 10.1093/humrep/12.1.183

Steuber, R. K. & H. D. Solomon. “Relational uncertainty, partner interference, and infertility: A qualitative study of discourse within online forums”. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 25, 5(2008): 831–855. doi: 10.1177/0265407508096698

Ulrich, M., & A. Weatherall. “Motherhood and Infertility: Viewing Motherhood through the Lens of Infertility”. Feminism & Psychology 10, 3(2000): 323–336. doi: 0959-3535(200008)10:3;323–336;013561

Vilig, K. Kvalitativna istraživanja u psihologiji. Beograd: Clio, 2013.

Weinger, S. “‘Infertile’ Cameroonian Women Social Marginalization and Coping Strategies”. Qualitative Social Work 8, 1(2009): 45–64. doi: 10.1177/1473325008100425

World Health Organization. Infertility Definitions and Terminology (Sexual and Reproductive Health). Accessed July 7, 2020. health/topics/infertility/definitions/en/.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1820-8495 (Print)

ISSN 1820-8509 (Online)