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Jan 2024, Vol 12, Issue 1
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Original Article
Infertility Among Married Women in Northern India: A Qualitative Study of Coping Strategies and Social Stigmas
Shraddha Sharma1, Ritu Sharma1, Preeti Manani2, I.V. Prasad3
1School of Liberal Studies, Pandit Deendayal Energy University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
2Mata Sundri College for Women, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
3International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India

IJWHR 2024; 12: 033-041
DOI: 10.15296/ijwhr.2023.7890
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Keywords : Infertility, Emotions, Social stigma
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Abstract
Objectives: The present study aimed to explore the emotional and social lives of the women with infertility issues in the Northern States of India.

Materials and Methods: In this study, a purposive sampling technique was adopted to examine a total of 17 married women aged 28-40. The hermeneutic phenomenology design was employed and the in-depth interviews, both face-to-face and online interviews, were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide.

Results: The results from the analysis were classified into four major themes, namely Social Pressure, Psychological Vulnerabilities, Marital Disruption, and Coping Strategies. Issues reported by the participants such as the lack of purpose, insecurities in relationships, social stigmas and feelings of being incomplete, as well as high cost of infertility treatment were recorded. It was found that religious coping strategy was the most common strategy used by the participants to deal with their infertility.

Conclusions: In the present study, women’s psychological and emotional pains caused by infertility and, particularly, by stigmas were investigated. It was concluded that women rarely sought help from counselors and psychologists to overcome their psychological vulnerabilities.

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