Infertility in India: social, religion and cultural influence


  • Poonam Sheoran Faculty of Nursing, Maharishi Markendeshwar University, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India
  • Jyoti Sarin Faculty of Nursing, Maharishi Markendeshwar University, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India



Infertility, Phenomenology, Qualitative, Social influence, Religion influence, Cultural influence


Background: Society, culture and religion frame the major sphere of life for human kind since starting. Fertility has been one of man’s desired attributes since the beginning of recorded history and remains a driving need for young couples today. Infertility, however, continues to be a major worldwide problem, affecting an estimated 60-80 million women and men, a vast majority of whom live in low resource countries. The aim of the study was to assess the living-in experiences of infertile women under social and religional and cultural influence.

Methods: This was a phenomenological study conducted at Infertility clinic of Haryana, India. Data was collected was semi structured interview guide and face to face in depth interviews. Participants were selected using criterion sampling technique and data saturation was achieved after 22 interviews. All interviews were audiotaped using a digital recorder.

Results: The findings of the study showed that three main themes related to social, religious and cultural influence with core theme of Environmental influence of their infertility experience.

Conclusions: The study concluded that there is a huge burden on the part of female to have a baby after marriage. Also the childless women face social and financial adversities at time and this is not limited to low income or low education strata. Health care professionals need to understand cultural and social implications of infertility in order to provide counseling, and referring women with fertility concerns for consultation and further treatment.


Tripathi N. Infertility among Indian Women: Emerging Evidence and Need for Policy Measures, presented at the annual conference of the population Association of America, 2011.

Singh P, Shukla U. Inability to conceive and treatment seeking behavior in Uttar Pradesh state in India. Canadian Studies in Population. 2015;15:1-12.

Prasad R. Infertility and Treatment Seeking Behavior among women of EAG states in India. India 2014: Population and Development. 87-10

Unisa S. Infertility and treatment seeking in India. Findings from District level house hold survey. Facts, Views & Vision in Ob Gyn. 2010:59-65

El Kissi Y, Amamou B, Hidar S, Ayoubi Idrissi et al. Quality of life of infertile Tunisian Couples and difference According to Gender. International journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2014;125(2);134-7.

Wischmann T, Scherg H, Stowitzki T. Psychosocial characteristics of women and men attending infertility Clinic. Human Reproduction. 2009;24(2):378-85.

Creswell JW. Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five traditions (2nd edition), 2007.

Papreen N, Sharma A, Sabin K, Begum L, Ahsan K S, et al. Living with infertility: experiences among urban slum populations in Bangladesh. Reproductive Health Matters. 2000;8(15):33-44.

Mumtaz Z, Shahid U, Levay A. Understanding the impact of gendered roles on the experiences of infertility amongst men and women in Punjab. BMC Reproductive Health. 2013;10(3).

Barua A, Apte H, Pande R, Walia S. Infertility concerns among young couples in rural India Available at Accessed on 02.08.2015

Tahiri FB, Kalaja D, Bimbashi EK. The Lived Experience of female Infertility: The Case of Muslim Rural Women Leaving in Albania. European Scientific Journal. 2015;11(11):268-77.

Wiersema NJ, Drukker AJ, Dung MBT, Nhu GH, Nhu NT et al. Consequences of infertility in developing countries: Results of a survey in the south of Vietnam. Journal of Translational Medicine. 2006;4:54.

Obeisat S, Gharaibeh KM, Oweis A, Gharaibeh H. Adversities of Being Infertile: The experience of Jordanian Women. Fertility and Sterility. 2012;98(2):444–9.

Mishra K, Dubey A. Indian Women’s Perspective on Reproduction and Childlessness: Narrative Analysis. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 2014;4(6):157-14.

Roudsari LR, Allan HT. Women’s experience and Preferences in Relation to infertility counseling: A multi faith Dialogue. International Journal of Fertility and Sterility. 2011;5(3):158-67.

Berger R, Marilyn S, Henshaw LA. Women’s Experience of infertility: A multi systemic Perspective. Journal of International Women’s Studies. 2013;14(1):54-68.






Original Research Articles