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Hum Reprod. 2010 Mar;25(3):714-20. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep445. Epub 2009 Dec 19.

The experience of spontaneous pregnancy loss for infertile women who have conceived through assisted reproduction technology.

Author information

1
Department of Interdisciplinary Programs, King's University College, 266 Epworth Avenue, London, ON, Canada. darcy.harris@uwo.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore the subjective experiences of infertile women who conceived through the use of assisted reproduction technology--ovarian stimulation, intrauterine insemination or IVF--only to lose their pregnancy at 2-16 weeks gestation.

METHODS:

Ten women participated in in-depth, tape-recorded interviews. After initial content analysis, a phenomenological analysis was undertaken to identify common themes in the participants' stories.

RESULTS:

Nine common themes were identified. These included: a sense of profound loss and grief; diminished control; a sense of shared loss with their partners; injustice or lack of fairness; ongoing reminders of the loss; social awkwardness; fear of re-investing in the treatment process or a subsequent pregnancy; the need to make sense of their experience; and feelings of personal responsibility for what had happened.

CONCLUSIONS:

Participants' experiences of pregnancy loss were embedded within their experiences of infertility and medical treatment, and shaped by their significant investment in having a child. A significant feature was their marked ambivalence regarding future reproductive options after their pregnancy loss, reflecting a unique overlay of prominent anxiety in their grief experience.

PMID:
20023296
DOI:
10.1093/humrep/dep445
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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