Exploring infertile women’s experiences about sexual life: A qualitative study

Shahnaz Kohan, Zahra Ghasemi, Marjan Beigi



Background: Infertility is a serious problem in a couple’s life that affects their marriage relationships. So, dissatisfaction with sexual function resulting from interpersonal problems is common among these couples. This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of infertile women in their sexual life.

Materials and Methods: This is a qualitative study with a phenomenological approach. The participants were 20 infertile women referring to the health care centers and infertility clinics of Isfahan and were selected through purposive sampling. Data were collected by tape recording of deep interviews and analyzed by Colaizzi’s method.

Results: Analysis of the participants’ experiences led to fi ve main concepts: “Disturbed in femininity-body image,” “discouragement of sexual relations,” “sacrifi ce of sexual pleasure for the sake of getting pregnant,” “confusion in sexual relation during infertility treatment,” and “striving to protect their marriage.”

Conclusions: Findings revealed that infertility affects women’s different aspects of sexual life, especially disturbance in femininity-body image and sexual reluctance. With regard to women’s willingness to protect their matrimonial life and prevent sexual trauma as a destroying factor for their family’s mental health, it seems sexual counseling is necessary for infertile couples.

Key words: Experiences, infertility, Iran, phenomenology, qualitative research, sexual life

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