Introduction: Infertility, as a global phenomenon and one of the most important issues of reproductive health, affects women more often than men, even when the infertility is due to a male factor. The purpose of this study was to explore the cognitive emotional experiences of women faced with male infertility.

Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in 2014-2015 in Mashhad, Iran. The perceptions and experiences of healthy women whose husbands were diagnosed with primary male factor infertility were investigated using a qualitative content analysis approach. Participants were selected through purposeful sampling, and data collection was conducted using in-depth semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using conventional content analysis with MAXqda software. Study rigor was verified via criteria proposed by Lincoln and Guba. 

Results: One main theme emerged through analysis entitled "cognitive emotional reactions confronting infertility diagnosis" with sub-themes of cognitive emotional reactions when confronted with male infertility diagnosis with subthemes of disbelief and denial, fear and apprehension, suffering and emotional distress, disappointment, frustration, confusion, and joy.

Conclusion: The diagnosis of male infertility was associated with important emotional cognitive consequences for their female partners. Emotional support, providing new insights into how to treat the issue, and trying to shorten the process of diagnosis are necessary for these women. This kind of support could reduce the psychological effects of confrontation with the diagnosis of male infertility, including social insecurity for women.


Keywords: women, male infertility, content analysis, cognition, emotional
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