Male infertility as relational: An analysis of men's reported encounters with family members and friends in the context of delayed conception
Relational aspects of infertility are understandably often viewed through a dyadic lens, which has typically prioritised women’s experiences of infertility, simultaneously burdening women and marginalising men’s accounts from understandings of reproduction. Men’s infertility experiences in relation to the role and impact on other relationships have yet to be examined in detail. This paper considers data from a sample of 41 men who completed a qualitative questionnaire about their experiences of infertility. Our thematic analysis of relationship-relevant responses generated two key themes: disruption of temporal horizons; and friends and family members as ‘outsiders’. Our analysis develops insights into the emotional labour involved in managing relationships with friends and family members in the challenging context of infertility and highlights the problems associated with ‘support’ offered by significant others. The value of understanding infertility as a relational phenomenon that is shaped and constrained by close relationships and wider social norms is elaborated, with implications for healthcare practice also discussed.
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Citation : Hanna, E., Gough, B. (2020) Male infertility as relational: An analysis of men's reported encounters with family members and friends in the context of delayed conception. Families, Relationships and Societies,
ISSN : 2046-7435
Peer Reviewed : Yes