Doing it the best way that we can : men's and women's experiences during the early stages of IVF: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

PhD Thesis

Phillips, Elly 2012. Doing it the best way that we can : men's and women's experiences during the early stages of IVF: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. PhD Thesis
AuthorsPhillips, Elly
TypePhD Thesis

This research examined how men and women experience stress and coping during the early stages of IVF, focusing on time, gender and couples. Both members of three heterosexual
couples took part separately in two or three semi-structured interviews over a six-month period, producing fourteen accounts. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to preserve participants' unique experiences alongside interpretation and generation of broader themes by the researcher. Infertility and fertility treatment were not always seen as stressful, but often as a problem to be tackled in the best way, both emotionally and practically. Stress arose from specific, time-limited issues. Participants' emotional responses were shaped by
perceptions of the effect of stress on fertility, a desire to stay positive, and downward comparison with other fertility patients who were perceived to be coping poorly. Participants
emphasised their choices as logical, careful decisions, weighing up multiple factors including alternatives like adoption, and temporal and financial investments. Over time, perceptions of IVF changed from a precise, technical process to one subject to luck and chance, although the process itself was perceived as becoming easier with experience. The study was originally positioned within the transactional stress and coping model, but a self-regulatory perspective
provided a better fit for the data. The findings are linked to each model where appropriate, and the implications suggest use of the transactional model to understanding specific, time limited events, and a self-regulatory framework to explore general fertility treatment experiences. Suggestions for future work include greater use of the self-regulatory framework to study infertility and fertility treatment; paying attention to couples' willingness to adopt in
shaping infertility experiences; conducting interviews at different times during treatment cycles, and during different treatment cycles; and using alternative data gathering methods including Internet Mediated Research.

KeywordsInterpretive phenomenological analysis; Men; Women; Infertility; IVF; Self regulation; Stress and coping
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)hdl:10545/344608
File Access Level
File Access Level
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Feb 2015, 14:14
Publication dates2012
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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