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'Half a woman, half a man; that is how they make me feel': a qualitative study of rural Jordanian women's experience of infertility.

  • Daibes, Mayada A1
  • Safadi, Reema R2
  • Athamneh, Tarek3
  • Anees, Iman F4
  • Constantino, Rose E5
  • 1 a School of Nursing , Philadelphia University , Amman , Jordan. , (Jordan)
  • 2 b Maternity and Child Health Department, School of Nursing , University of Jordan , Amman , Jordan. , (Jordan)
  • 3 c Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Prince Rashid Ibn Al-Hasan Hospital, Jordanian Royal Medical Services , Amman , Jordan. , (Jordan)
  • 4 d Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , King Hussein Medical Centre, Jordanian Royal Medical Services , Amman , Jordan. , (Jordan)
  • 5 e Department of Health and Community Systems, School of Nursing , University of Pittsburgh , Pittsburgh , USA.
Published Article
Culture, health & sexuality
Publication Date
Aug 16, 2017
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2017.1359672
PMID: 28812445


Infertility is a health problem encompassing physical, psychological and social consequences that may threaten women's quality of life. Few studies have been conducted in Jordan examining rural women's experiences of infertility. This study aimed to explore responses to infertility and its consequences in the Jordanian rural sociocultural context. Using a descriptive qualitative design, data were collected between April and September 2016 from a fertility clinic in a military hospital in Northern Jordan. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 purposively selected Jordanian women. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings revealing women's responses to infertility included: submission and docility, self-isolation, internalisation and persistence in getting pregnant by seeking modern and traditional methods of treatment. The impact of infertility complicated women's everyday living through their experiences of violence, kinship and patriarchal interference, stigma, negative perceptions of the infertile woman, and other's surveillance of their sexuality. Women living in rural areas of Jordan have negative experiences of infertility that are ingrained in sociocultural beliefs about fertility and reproduction. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to raise public awareness about infertility's adverse consequences and to help families by enhancing positive responses to infertility.

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