Chapter

Shifting Gears

Gay Becker

in The Elusive Embryo

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780520224308
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925243 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520224308.003.0011
Shifting Gears

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This chapter focuses on the cumulative effects of infertility treatment on the life of a couple. The pursuit of treatment initially ameliorated women's sense of failure and made them feel they were taking responsible action. After they had been in treatment for some time, however, women began to feel affected by infertility treatment and frightened by their dependency on medical technology. They felt out of control and observed changes in themselves that they viewed as negative. When women and men use reproductive technologies to ameliorate infertility, it is common for them to put life “on hold.” The combination of repeated failures to conceive and the need to go on with their lives often catapults them into a crisis. Disruption to life serves as a catalyst for rethinking common assumptions about life. Disruptions often reveal deep-seated cultural expectations and cast new light on everyday practices.

Keywords: infertility treatment; medical technology; reproductive technologies; catalyst

Chapter.  6796 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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