This research is aimed at studying and describing the psychosocial
effects of infertility on couples. Infertility is a
reasonably new field of specialization in Medical Social Work,
with a limited amount of research findings and literature available.
A definite need for research therefore exists in this
The stages and procedures of research used in this study are
firstly described, as well as the problems experienced with the
study and definitions of terms used.
Subsequently, infertility is described in detail to provide the
necessary knowledge of and insight into the problem and also to
understand what infertile couples have to endure during the whole
treatment period. This includes the initial interview, the
medical investigations, the causes of infertility, the treatment
procedures av.ailable and the psycho-social effects of infertility.
The roles, tasks, skills and knowledge of the medical social
worker in a multi-professional health setting are described next,
followed by a guideline for medical social workers as regards the
infertile couple at an Infertility Clinic. This guideline
describes the roles and tasks of the medical social worker
regarding each step of the entire infertility treatment plan. Hereafter the research findings and graphical representations of
this exploratory and descriptive study of the psycho-social
effects of infertility on couples, are presented and discussed.
The hypothesis for this study: "Infertility has various psychosocial
effects on a couple" is accordingly supported.
Finally the general summary, conclusions and recommendations
arising from this study are provided.