|dc.description.abstract||Infertility is estimated to occur in 15-20% of couples in the United States.
Although infertility has psychosocial consequences of varying intensity for both
individuals and couples, available research on infertility predominantly focuses on
the woman and her experience. Few studies directly address the male experience
of infertility qualitatively.
This qualitative study explored the experience of infertility by men, and
their perceptions and expectations of healthcare providers and the healthcare
system. King's (1981) Theory of Goal Attainment provided the theoretical
framework. The setting was a fertility clinic in the Midwest. A purposive sample
of six men with a diagnosis of infertility comprised the sample. Data were
collected through a demographic questionnaire and open-ended questions, and
analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) method of data analysis.
Results indicated complex psychosocial and environmental factors
impacted the males in their experience of infertility. Three themes emerged as
male perceptions of the infertility experience: (a) goal blockage consisting of
feelings of isolation and disappointment, (b) goal adjustment with realistic
situational appraisals; as well as embracement of alternative measures to foster
goal attainment including positive perceptual adjustments in response to goal
blockage, and, (c) active involvement and re-engagement in adjusted goal
attainment. Three themes emerged on how healthcare providers can assist men
living with infertility: (a) empathy, (b) education, and, (c) guidance. Implications
for future nursing practice and education indicate an increased need for
anticipatory guidance, and development of a holistic, individualized approach to