Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Professor Anne McMurray


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe and interpret the experience of infertility from the perspective of infertile couples, in order to gain an in-depth understanding of how it affects their lives. Ten to twenty per cent of the global population share the experience of infertility, however, little is known of their experiences and perceptions related to infertility. Literature to date mainly focuses on the physiological effects of infertility and does not take into account the context in which the experience takes place, or the meanings that people assign to this experience. To be effective, health carers need to understand the perspective of those experiencing the phenomena in order to provide appropriate information and care. A phenomenological approach was adopted for the study. A purposive sample of six couples was selected for interview. Data were generated from taped interviews and the researcher's observational field notes. Data analysis was in accordance with the procedure outlined by Colaizzi (1978), which is to describe, interpret, and extrapolate common themes and meanings from the data. Interview responses were categorised by examining the participants' transcripts, and identifying significant statements and meanings. Themes which emerged from the statements were then identified, and cross-case comparisons were made to confirm or modify these themes.