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Parenthood pursuits : couples' experiences of infertility and its treatment - an Irish case study
Cotter, No?lle
THESIS 8912 This thesis is based on prospective longitudinal research with 34 couples over a two-year period (2005-2007) as they underwent an IVF/ICSI cycle in a Dublin-based clinic. Couples were interviewed at four time points: before they began a cycle, in their two- week wait prior to a pregnancy test, three months later, and a further 12-18 months later. This thesis argues that the experience of infertility and its treatment is a stigmatic one; where couples are stigmatised through their own beliefs and understandings of what should occur at certain points across the life cycle/course, and what is expected of them. Couples become unwilling deviants as they are diverted from their expected life path pursuing treatment that they hope will facilitate their rejoining of the life course from the point of deviation. This stigma of infertility and its treatment is viewed through the lens of couples? personal perceptions of time. Couples are aware that there is a 'right' time to have a child/children, this is the first time point that is missed/delayed. Couples are also aware that biologically they only have a certain number of years within which biological parenthood is feasible. Couples are chasing the biological clock, trying to speed up their treatment process to ensure every available avenue is explored before it is too late and to ensure that they will not experience regret in later life. In parallel to this too-fast biological clock, couples also experience waiting-time as too slow. This is the time wherein they are waiting for the next phase of treatment, the next clinic appointment or an outcome. Time feels as if it has been slowed down. Throughout these 'time' experiences, enacted to avoid and circumvent stigma, couples also exist in a hiatus - life is 'on hold', they are not progressing and cannot pursue other desires while this dominant experience of infertility is overshadowing their lives. It is through the lens of these embodied time experiences that the stigma associated with infertility and its treatment is viewed.
Keyword(s): Social Policy, Ph.D.; Ph.D. Trinity College Dublin
Publication Date:
Type: Doctoral thesis
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): No?lle Cotter, 'Parenthood pursuits : couples' experiences of infertility and its treatment - an Irish case study', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of Social Work and Social Policy, 2010, pp 365
Publisher(s): Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of Social Work and Social Policy
Supervisor(s): Mahon, Evelyn
First Indexed: 2018-11-09 06:18:56 Last Updated: 2018-11-09 06:18:56