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Soc Sci Med. 1995 Jan;40(1):27-36.

Stigma: the hidden burden of infertility.

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Department of Anthropology Soc 107, University of South Florida, Tampa 33620.


Infertility is experienced by 5 million U.S. couples, some of whom perceive it a stigmatizing condition. Recent technological innovations have created a multitude of medical interventions for those infertile individuals who can financially afford them. For some infertile women, those interventions also transform infertility from a private pain to a public, prolonged crisis. Our research focuses on 25 U.S. women who sought medical treatment for infertility and describes their perception of the stigma associated with infertility. We apply a critical, feminist perspective to our analysis of the women's lived experiences within the social and medical contexts in which they occur.

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