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Hum Fertil (Camb). 2007 Sep;10(3):141-9.

Looking at infertility through the lens of religion and spirituality: a review of the literature.

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European Institute of Health & Medical Sciences, The Duke of Kent Building, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.


In spite of the growing body of literature that has focused on medical, psychological, social, and cultural consequences of infertility, issues such as religious and spiritual dimensions of infertility have received little attention. Considering that infertility is a multifaceted problem and results in multiple losses, we argue that health professionals need to consider all aspects of holistic care when caring for women with fertility problems. Holistic care considers not only the psychological, social and cultural needs of individuals, but also their religious and spiritual needs. Women may use their religious/spiritual beliefs to cope with crisis, and to find meaning and hope in their suffering. This article reviews the literature on religion/spirituality and infertility using Medline, CINAHL, PBSC, IBSS and ISI Web of Knowledge from 1985 to the present. It focuses on religious and spiritual care as one aspect of holistic care of women with fertility problems, and draws attention to the religious perspectives of infertility and reproductive technologies. It highlights the spiritual dimension of the infertility experience in previous research, and concludes with a discussion on the gaps in the literature and the implications of including religious and spiritual issues in infertile women's care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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