Author: Luk, Hi Kwan Bronya
Title: The experiences of infertility on married couples in Hong Kong
Advisors: Loke Yuen, Alice (SN)
Degree: DHSc
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Infertility -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychological aspects
Childlessness -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychological aspects
Infertility -- Patients -- Counseling of -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: xi, 149 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The impacts of infertility on couples include negative psycho-social effects, lower self-esteem, unfulfilled social roles and expectations relating to childbearing, and experience of strained marital and sexual relationships. AIMS: This study aims to examine infertility-related stress, and to determine the levels of self-esteem, sexual satisfaction, perceived intimacy, and partnership support among infertile couples in Hong Kong. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional correlational study. RESULTS: A total of 113 pair of questionnaires collected from infertile couples were analyzed and presented in this report. The results of this study show that infertile couples in Hong Kong were bothered by infertility-related stress. Women suffered significantly more than men in the areas of social concern, sexual concern, and relationship concern. Women viewed parenthood as a more important issue than men and would go to any effort to achieve pregnancy (women 76.1% vs. men 59.3%). Both women and men in this study had similar levels of self-esteem, while more men than women felt that they were able to do things as well as others (men 94.7% vs. women 85.8%, p=0.025). About half of the women (57.5%) and men (49.6%) did not consider their sex life satisfactory, and claimed that their partner was not very sensitive to their sexual needs or desires. Luckily, more than eighty percent of the participants in this study reported that they experienced partner support and intimacy with their partner. The correlation analysis showed that the increased levels of partner support, intimacy, and sexual satisfaction are associated with higher self-esteem and lower levels of infertility-related stress in females. Whereas in males, the increased levels of perceived intimacy and sexual satisfaction are also associated with higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of infertility-related stress.
A preliminary yin-yang conceptual framework was developed based on yin-yang theory, where yin represents the female, and yang represents the male. In the context of infertility, the female and male interact with each other and maintain partner support, perceived intimacy, and sexual satisfaction. The relationship and interaction help infertile married couples to preserve their self-esteem and maintain harmony in a yin-yang balance to overcome the hardships of infertility. The framework was tested by structural equation modeling (SEM) and with good model fit. The SEM test not only provide evidence supporting the proposed conceptual framework, but also offer healthcare professionals' strategic implications for the adoption of the preliminary yin-yang conceptual framework in practice to enhance partner support between infertile couples. CONCLUSIONS: A future study should focus on interventions to relieve the infertility-related concerns and stress of infertile couples, with particular attention being paid to the couples as dyads. Interventions to strengthen partnership support among couples and their sexual satisfaction and intimacy will be an essential topic in the future to help infertile couples address their infertility-related stress.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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