Journal of Professional Nursing

Women’s Infertility: Challenges for Practice

Jenny Carryer, RGON, PhD, FCNA (NZ), Lecturer in the Dept. of Nursing and Midwifery, Massey University
Stephanie Maclean, R.Comp.N, R.M., Dip.Soc.Sci., Lecturer in Midwifery, Auckland Institute of Technology

Reference: Carryer, J. & Maclean, S. (1998). Women’s Infertility: Challenges for Practice. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 13(2), 23-32.



Infertility is an issue for men and women but it is women who experience the majority of the diagnostic and treatment procedures.  Nurses and midwives care for women in a variety of settings in which infertility is managed.  This management is currently characterized by an escalation in related technologies and there is the potential for prolonged and complex endeavors to achieve a pregnancy. 

This paper reviews some pertinent literature from nursing, medicine, feminist scholars and the popular press to consider the ways in which infertility is understood and experienced.  The challenge for nurses and midwives is in negotiating the differing perspectives in order to provide appropriate care to each individual woman as she experiences infertility and its management.

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