‘Just because a doctor says something, doesn't mean that [it] will happen’: self-perception as having a Fertility Problem among Infertility Patients

Ophra Leyser-Whalen, Arthur L. Greil, Julia McQuillan, Katherine M. Johnson, Karina M. Shrefffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Only some individuals who have the medically defined condition ‘infertility’ adopt a self-definition as having a fertility problem, which has implications for social and behavioural responses, yet there is no clear consensus on why some people and not others adopt a medical label. We use interview data from 28 women and men who sought medical infertility treatment to understand variations in self-identification. Results highlight the importance of identity disruption for understanding the dialectical relationship between medical contact and self-identification, as well as how diagnosis acts both as a category and a process. Simultaneously integrating new medical knowledge from testing and treatment with previous fertility self-perceptions created difficulty for settling on an infertility self-perception. Four response categories emerged for adopting a self-perception of having a fertility problem: (i) the non-adopters – never adopting the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (ii) uncertain – not being fully committed to the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (iii) assuming the label – not having prior fertility concerns but adopting the self-perception post-medical contact; and (iv) solidifying a tentative identity – not being fully committed to a self-perception pre-medical contact, but fully committed post-medical contact. (A virtual abstract of this paper can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_979cmCmR9rLrKuD7z0ycA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-462
Number of pages18
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Fingerprint

Self Concept
Infertility
self-image
Fertility
fertility
contact
settling
physician's care
Consensus
Interviews
Therapeutics
interview

Keywords

  • diagnosis
  • identity disruption
  • infertility
  • self-definition
  • symbolic interactionism
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

‘Just because a doctor says something, doesn't mean that [it] will happen’ : self-perception as having a Fertility Problem among Infertility Patients. / Leyser-Whalen, Ophra; Greil, Arthur L.; McQuillan, Julia; Johnson, Katherine M.; Shrefffler, Karina M.

In: Sociology of Health and Illness, Vol. 40, No. 3, 03.2018, p. 445-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7181244b464b43fd91fb16e309c0a94d,
title = "‘Just because a doctor says something, doesn't mean that [it] will happen’: self-perception as having a Fertility Problem among Infertility Patients",
abstract = "Only some individuals who have the medically defined condition ‘infertility’ adopt a self-definition as having a fertility problem, which has implications for social and behavioural responses, yet there is no clear consensus on why some people and not others adopt a medical label. We use interview data from 28 women and men who sought medical infertility treatment to understand variations in self-identification. Results highlight the importance of identity disruption for understanding the dialectical relationship between medical contact and self-identification, as well as how diagnosis acts both as a category and a process. Simultaneously integrating new medical knowledge from testing and treatment with previous fertility self-perceptions created difficulty for settling on an infertility self-perception. Four response categories emerged for adopting a self-perception of having a fertility problem: (i) the non-adopters – never adopting the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (ii) uncertain – not being fully committed to the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (iii) assuming the label – not having prior fertility concerns but adopting the self-perception post-medical contact; and (iv) solidifying a tentative identity – not being fully committed to a self-perception pre-medical contact, but fully committed post-medical contact. (A virtual abstract of this paper can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_979cmCmR9rLrKuD7z0ycA).",
keywords = "diagnosis, identity disruption, infertility, self-definition, symbolic interactionism, treatment",
author = "Ophra Leyser-Whalen and Greil, {Arthur L.} and Julia McQuillan and Johnson, {Katherine M.} and Shrefffler, {Karina M.}",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1111/1467-9566.12657",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "40",
pages = "445--462",
journal = "Sociology of Health and Illness",
issn = "0141-9889",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘Just because a doctor says something, doesn't mean that [it] will happen’

T2 - self-perception as having a Fertility Problem among Infertility Patients

AU - Leyser-Whalen, Ophra

AU - Greil, Arthur L.

AU - McQuillan, Julia

AU - Johnson, Katherine M.

AU - Shrefffler, Karina M.

PY - 2018/3

Y1 - 2018/3

N2 - Only some individuals who have the medically defined condition ‘infertility’ adopt a self-definition as having a fertility problem, which has implications for social and behavioural responses, yet there is no clear consensus on why some people and not others adopt a medical label. We use interview data from 28 women and men who sought medical infertility treatment to understand variations in self-identification. Results highlight the importance of identity disruption for understanding the dialectical relationship between medical contact and self-identification, as well as how diagnosis acts both as a category and a process. Simultaneously integrating new medical knowledge from testing and treatment with previous fertility self-perceptions created difficulty for settling on an infertility self-perception. Four response categories emerged for adopting a self-perception of having a fertility problem: (i) the non-adopters – never adopting the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (ii) uncertain – not being fully committed to the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (iii) assuming the label – not having prior fertility concerns but adopting the self-perception post-medical contact; and (iv) solidifying a tentative identity – not being fully committed to a self-perception pre-medical contact, but fully committed post-medical contact. (A virtual abstract of this paper can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_979cmCmR9rLrKuD7z0ycA).

AB - Only some individuals who have the medically defined condition ‘infertility’ adopt a self-definition as having a fertility problem, which has implications for social and behavioural responses, yet there is no clear consensus on why some people and not others adopt a medical label. We use interview data from 28 women and men who sought medical infertility treatment to understand variations in self-identification. Results highlight the importance of identity disruption for understanding the dialectical relationship between medical contact and self-identification, as well as how diagnosis acts both as a category and a process. Simultaneously integrating new medical knowledge from testing and treatment with previous fertility self-perceptions created difficulty for settling on an infertility self-perception. Four response categories emerged for adopting a self-perception of having a fertility problem: (i) the non-adopters – never adopting the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (ii) uncertain – not being fully committed to the self-perception pre- or post-medical contact; (iii) assuming the label – not having prior fertility concerns but adopting the self-perception post-medical contact; and (iv) solidifying a tentative identity – not being fully committed to a self-perception pre-medical contact, but fully committed post-medical contact. (A virtual abstract of this paper can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_979cmCmR9rLrKuD7z0ycA).

KW - diagnosis

KW - identity disruption

KW - infertility

KW - self-definition

KW - symbolic interactionism

KW - treatment

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85039072178&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85039072178&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/1467-9566.12657

DO - 10.1111/1467-9566.12657

M3 - Article

C2 - 29280501

AN - SCOPUS:85039072178

VL - 40

SP - 445

EP - 462

JO - Sociology of Health and Illness

JF - Sociology of Health and Illness

SN - 0141-9889

IS - 3

ER -