An exploratary study of involuntarily childless women's experience from potential parenthood to the acceptance of their non-parenthood status
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We live in a society that continually reinforces the connection between femininity and maternity and for the majority of women, attempts to experience motherhood are successful. However, for others the world of motherhood is not so easy to enter. To date, research regarding the needs and life satisfaction of women who are unsuccessful in becoming mothers, is fairly limited. The purpose of this study was to explore the transitional phase women endure from potential motherhood to non-motherhood and to highlight some of the complexities underpinning infertility and its impact on the lives of women in South Africa. The main objective was to gain deeper insight into how women incorporated this experience into their lives and relationships and how they began to create a future life without their own biological children. A secondary aim of this study was to investigate whether the women viewed aspects such as age and finances as having had an effect on their decision to discontinue treatment for infertility. Feminist standpoint theory served as a theoretical framework for the study that recognized that each individual voice be heard. This study was a qualitative exploration, utilizing a short demographic questionnaire and an in-depth semi-structured interview. Five interviews were conducted with women from diverse backgrounds. These interviews were recorded; transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis of the data was conducted.