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Infertility is the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception. It may also refer to the condition whereby a woman is unable to carry pregnancy to full term. This definition however is relative and depends on the demographic composition. It differs from place to place. Infertility usually has both positive and negative consequences on an individual. These effects could broadly be classified as social and economic.
The effects of infertility in men are closely similar though the extent is different.
Social effects of Infertility on women
It causes distress in women. When women learn that they are infertile, it brings a lot of distress on them. They feel psychologically unstable when they realize they are not like their friends and might remain without a progeny for the better part of their lives. This translates to some falling sick out of depression and stress. It is common more pronounced in women than in men. It also causes withdrawal symptoms. Women suffering from infertility may withdraw from the society especially family and friends as many feel they do not want to be associated with people whom at this point they think are different from them. (Alma, 1994).
Rejection is also common in certain cultures. A woman who is infertile is seen as inefficient on outcast in the society. She is viewed as not bringing continuity to a particular society. She may be rejected by friends, relatives and colleagues. There is also the feeling of loss and insecurity. Children are a form of security to parents and a woman who is infertile may have the feeling that no one will take care of her when she is old and unable to take care of herself. She might also feel that her investments will end in the hands of strangers when she dies. She would have wanted them to end with her children Women tend to start being contemptuous towards children and when they see some around, they might not appreciate them. They feel like they should also be having some and thus the guilt. (Teresa, 1994)
Lack of sexual identity comes in handy with infertility. Women will feel less sexually attractive since they are infertile. She may also lose her self esteem in the process such that she might not feel confident especially where there are people around. Loss of perspective is yet another social effect. Women with cases of infertility concentrate too much on changing this condition including visiting medical experts. This is done at the expense of engaging that effort in achieving at the work place and in other household chores.
Effect on men
Men often start isolating themselves once they realize they are infertile and majorities will usually turn to being secretive. They feel no one should ever know about their condition. This further affects their relationship with other people in the society. (Makar, 2002).
Effect on Relationships
Infertility may make relationships break especially if it’s one person who possesses the condition. One partner may also fear being left at times hence insecurity. Differing levels of enthusiasm may be created among couples with these problems. This is usually a common case where one partner has children whereas the other does not. The one without is more enthusiastic in bearing a child than the other. These differing levels may result into conflict. (Annette, 1991) Couples also experience a rollercoaster in their sex life. There are those who feel sex is no longer for pleasure but aimed at procreation only. Doctors may advice on sex during ovulation and such like timing and this often makes sex be like a formal activity.
The effects of infertility on most occasions work against couples levels of expectations. This is relative in both males and females. Women experience more stigma and the effect in them is at a higher level than in men.