Infertility is medically defned as a lack of conception following at least one year of unprotected sexual intercourse (WHO, 2009). Infertility and its treatment can have a considerable impact on a persons quality of life and infertility problems can be among the most upsetting experiences in peoples lives (Fekkes et al., 2003). In fact, infertility has been ranked as one of the great stressors in life, comparable to divorce and death in the family (Holter et al., 2006).


Emotional effects
  • Grieving and depression
  • Anger and frustration
  • Guilt
  • Shock and denial
  • Anxiety
Loss of control
  • Loss of control over activities, body, emotions
  • Inability to predict and plan future
  • Loss of health
  • Loss of security (about a predictable future)
Effects on self
  • esteem, identity & beliefs
  • Loss of self-esteem and self
  • confidence, feelings of inadequacy
  • Identity problems or shifts, loss of status or prestige
  • Changes in world views
Social effects
  • Effects on marital interactions and satisfaction (positive and negative)
  • Effects on sexual functioning
  • Different social network interactions, changes in relationships with network members, loneliness, embarrassment
Loss of a (potential) relationship
  • Loss of fantasy or hope of fulflling an important fantasy
  • Loss of something or someone of great symbolic value
  • Loss of future and past in one person