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Life is a rollercoaster: Social influences on couples conceiving a child through IVF

Life is a rollercoaster: Social influences on couples conceiving a child through IVF

Gale, Liz (2015) Life is a rollercoaster: Social influences on couples conceiving a child through IVF. In: Making Parents? Human reproduction and family life in contemporary society, 11/12/2015, University of Roehampton. (Submitted)

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As technologies improve in the field of assisted reproduction, the number of couples becoming parents through ART is increasing (HFEA 2013). Those who have undergone this are likely to have faced greater psychological, physical and often financial demands which may heighten expectation of parenthood for this group. Whilst having actively sought parenthood there may be pressure on them to be ‘good’ at it. In addition, previous experiences of infertility (sense of failure and frustration, cyclical nature of hopes raised and dashed) and the associated interventions (high anxiety, medical intrusion, relinquishing of control) may also influence that transition, this is an area as yet poorly explored.

Jauniaux and Rizk (2011) describe IVF as a ‘somatic answer to a subjective problem’. Much of the research in IVF focuses on the biomedical, which reduces women to the role of ‘vehicle’ on which medical teams work (the role of the father being minimised even further). IVF is considered to be a ‘good’ thing, a medical response to a couple’s unwanted situation. Once pregnancy is achieved; and the possibility of it not being is rarely considered, then the ‘problem’ is considered solved.

The subjectivity of the experience for couples is the focus of my PhD research ‘A study to investigate parental expectations and the perceived reality of early parenting in couples with a pregnancy conceived using IVF’. About to start data collection, it aims to gain an understanding of the expectations and experiences of those parents of the transition to early parenthood and whether there are differences between expectation and reality.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Parenting; Infertility
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Family Care & Mental Health
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2017 16:35
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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