Conceiving Conception: A Qualitative Examination of Women’s Experience of Medically Unexplained Infertility, Prior to Medical Intervention

Prof Doc Thesis

Goddard-Crawley, L. 2018. Conceiving Conception: A Qualitative Examination of Women’s Experience of Medically Unexplained Infertility, Prior to Medical Intervention. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsGoddard-Crawley, L.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This study attempts to explore the subjective experience of women with medically unexplained infertility (MUI), prior to a medical intervention. Previous literature has yet to investigate MUI ideographically, through a phenomenological lens and most studies have taken place during or after a medical treatment. This study consists of semi-structured interviews with six women. The transcribed interviews were analysed according to the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and three themes were derived from the analysis: (1). The Explanatory Vacuum, exploring how the lack of medical diagnosis led the women to ‘seeking’ answers. This emphasised a special vulnerability toward self-blame and seemed to be framed by societal and cultural expectation. (2). Uncertainty, this theme examined that the core of MUI seemed to be dominated by uncertainty, manifesting in predictions of an impending medical intervention and possible outcomes. How the participants managed the uncertainty was examined, as an interesting interplay between fear and excitement emerged. (3). The Concept of Pregnancy, Past and Present, exploring how the participants ideas around pregnancy and having children dramatically shift over time. The concept of pregnancy in the present seems to be characterised in a two-sided perspective, sometimes resulting in an idealised version of pregnancy and contrasted by a disconnection from the concept of conceiving. The findings of this research thesis highlight that the experience of MUI is a multi-layered and complex phenomenon. Thus, whilst the cause of their infertility may remain unknown, the lived experience of MUI shouldn’t have to. The results of this study endeavours to inform clinical practise, apprise empirical research and hopefully contribute to further research in this area.

KeywordsInfertility; MUI; IPA
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
File Access Level
Publication dates
PrintFeb 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Nov 2019
Permalink -

Download files

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File access level: Anyone

  • 113
    total views
  • 203
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as