Women's experiences of secondary infertility

Diane Marie Moyer Wieland, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of women with secondary infertility, to identify any unmet needs of this group, and to develop a substantive theory based on the findings. Research questions were: (1) What are women's experiences with secondary infertility? (2) Are there unmet needs of women who experience secondary infertility? If so, what are they? The research method for this study was derived from the constructivistic research paradigm as implemented in the naturalistic research strategy. A purposive, emergent sampling design was used to select ten women who experienced secondary infertility as participants. A size of ten was determined by saturation of data which occurred after the completion of the ten individual, in-depth interviews, ten health diaries, and a focus group involving five of the ten women. Data were analyzed using constant comparison. Results included four emergent themes: (1) secondary infertility: a barrier to building the perceived ideal family; (2) the different worlds of primary and secondary infertility: secondary infertility as child-centered; (3) resentment and stigma of the secondary infertile; and (4) coping with and managing secondary infertility. A substantive theory of self-empowerment of secondary infertile women emerged. Conclusions of the study are that the ten women acted from a position of internal locus of control, which assisted them to continue in infertility treatment, develop a support system, and manage their experiences of secondary infertility.

Subject Area

Health education|Mental health|Nursing|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Wieland, Diane Marie Moyer, "Women's experiences of secondary infertility" (1998). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9830016.