Meaning Attached to Infertility in Turkish Society/Stigmatization


18th World Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility (COGI), Vienna, Austria, 24 - 27 October 2013, pp.93-98 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Vienna
  • Country: Austria
  • Page Numbers: pp.93-98
  • Keywords: infertile women, life experiences, Turkish society, meaning of infertility, stigma, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, COUPLES, DISTRESS, NIGERIA, STIGMA, HEALTH, WOMEN
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having regular and unprotected sex for one year. Infertility affecting 10-15% of population at reproductive age is an abrupt and unexpected life crisis for many couples. It is estimated that there are 1.1 million infertile couples in Turkey. Infertility lowers life quality of couples through causing physical, psychological, socio-cultural, economic and marriage or sexual life-related problems. Inability of reproduction frequently creates a social stigma. Stigmatization for infertility happens when predefined social norms cannot be met. Thus, infertility causes individuals to feel incompetent, inferior and different from others and causes a significant life stress that depreciates individual identity. In Turkish society, having a child is accepted to have economic, psychological and social dimensions. Therefore, marriage brings along having children and certain problems could occur in childless marriages. Not having a child emotionally affects both genders; however, women are seen to feel more stress and pressure. In this review, it is aimed to investigate life experiences of infertile women and meaning attached by society to infertility in light with the results of some other studies.