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J Reprod Infertil. 2015 Oct-Dec;16(4):221-8.

Experiences of Infertile Women Seeking Assisted Pregnancy in Iran: A Qualitative Study.

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School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.



Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are complicated and stressful techniques and the social and cultural norms are major obstacles against their use. Many qualitative studies have been done in the field of women's experiences of infertility, but less is known about the experiences of infertile women seeking assisted pregnancy. The aim of this study was to understand and describe the experience of women who have used assisted reproductive technologies for their current pregnancy.


This qualitative study was conducted based on a content analysis approach. With purposive sampling, 12 pregnant women who were using ART were recruited from Avicenna Fertility Center in Tehran. Women were selected purposefully and with maximum variation. Interviews were performed after a positive test of pregnancy and women were introduced to researchers in their first visit of pregnancy in the prenatal clinic. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed concurrently. Semi-structured interviews were coded, categorized and the themes were also identified.


Four main themes were uncovered which included struggle to achieve pregnancy, fear and uncertainty, escape from stigma and the pursuit to achieve husband satisfaction.


It is essential for these women to be counseled and prepared by their health care providers after the use of ARTs. Distress can be reduced for infertile women seeking assisted pregnancy when they are prepared for possible failures, empowered to deal with stigma, and have their partners' involvement in counseling sessions.


Assisted reproductive technology; Counseling; Infertility; Pregnancy; Qualitative research


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