The lived experiences of subfertile couples in Hong Kong : a descriptive phenomenology approach

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The lived experiences of subfertile couples in Hong Kong : a descriptive phenomenology approach

 

Author: Yu, Pui-ling
Title: The lived experiences of subfertile couples in Hong Kong : a descriptive phenomenology approach
Year: 2004
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Infertility -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychological aspects
Childlessness -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychological aspects
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: vi, 64 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1793869
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3363
Abstract: This is a qualitative study exploring the lived experiences of Chinese subfertile couples in Hong Kong. A qualitative approach was employed to gain a better understanding of the essence of experience of Chinese subfertile couples. A total of 4 subfertile couples and 3 subfertile women were recruited and interviewed through snowballing technique. Data analysis was done by Colaizzi's method of content analysis. The main themes arising from the data are (A): feeling of regret, guilt, ashamed, incompleteness, and being blamed; (B): implications for the couples and their marital relationship; (C): experience of frustration in social situations; (D): meanings of children in life; (E): reasons/excuse not to have children/rationalizing for not having children; (F): seeking/not seeking alternatives to replace 'the lost' and (G): coping strategies: self-comfort by denial. Insights of subfertile couples' experience are gained from the results of the present study. Some informants confessed that they often wait too late to seek investigation and were refused of fertility treatment due to advanced age. Although the subfertile couples have plenty of negative experience from self, families, friends and the society, to certain extends, these couples believe that there are an increase in the public's acceptance of 'voluntary childless' in the society, which help these 'subfertile' couples to overcome their crisis. The subfertile couples' coping strategies seem to be adequate and healthy. Some of them even find enjoyment from other's kids or replacement with toys or pets. While some of them make future plan in advance for their old age since they do not have children by attempts to maintain better health by doing more exercises or take up new interest, hobbies or sports to occupy their leisure time. It is recommended that nursing intervention should focus on public education on the optimal age of conception, and that advanced maternal age will reduce the chance of fertility and the increase risks of poor birth outcomes. Pre-marital counseling for all the couples is recommended. Couples should be encouraged to seek medical advice or treatment if they have un-protective sex for one year without conceiving, so that prompt investigations could be provided at an earlier stage. Nurses could also organize 'education programs' or 'support groups' for the provision of related information for the subfertile couples.

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