The “Everything About the Existence” Experiences of Turkish Women With Infertility: Solicited Diaries in Qualitative Research

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Abstract

Background:

Infertility as a gynecological illness causes many psychological problems. In Turkey, only a limited number of studies have used qualitative methods to explore the experiences of infertile women.

Purpose:

The aims of this study are to investigate the infertility experiences of women using Watson’s Theory of Human Caring as a guide and to sensitize healthcare professionals to the importance of the personal stories of these women.

Methods:

A phenomenological approach was used to guide our exploration of the stories of infertile women during their treatment for infertility. This study involved 18 infertile women in Turkey. Data were collected using solicited diaries and were evaluated using thematic analysis.

Results:

The findings identified the following themes: (a) losing control of everything, (b) facing up to the angst, (c) living with the unknown, (d) alienation from the fertile world, (e) existential faith and hope, and (f) nonhealing environment.

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

This study identified “existentialist philosophy” as the most important aspect of the infertility experience. Participant experiences highlighted that they lived with a despair that was brought about by losses resulting from the infertility diagnosis and its treatment. Nurses should help infertile women reorganize the meaning of infertility to reach a healthy interpretation of infertility.

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