Representations of infertility as reflected in on-line discussion forums in Romania


  • I. Ghise
  • A. Băban


Background: Parenthood is undeniably one of the most universally desired goals in adulthood. However, approximately 20% of couples of reproductive age experience difficulty in conceiving or in maintaining an established pregnancy. Despite the fact that both males and females can be infertile, women endure the majority of fertility testing and treatments, which are expensive procedures, time consuming and with no guarantee of success. The aim of this paper is to understand how infertility is represented by Romanian woman in on-line discussion forums. Methods: We follow woman’s discussions in order to understand how woman with infertility perceive and reflect on this given situation. We conducted a thematic analysis, and texts from four discussion forums were analyzed (01.2010 – 01.2017). Findings: We identified the following themes regarding representations of infertility: Infertility as a personal battle ; infertility as an unfair destiny ; infertility as a threat to the feminine identity; divinity as a last resort to infertility. Discussion: Not being able to conceive in a society where children are emotionally valued means deviating from the norms of womanhood. There is an invisible stigma to the infertile woman, which led to feelings of shame, guilt, or being punished. When the battle against infertility is lost or does not end in the wished pregnancy, women often refer to divinity for help. Infertility is a complex problem, and not only does it interfere with the desired goal of having children, but also with the personal identity of women.





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