The Egg Came Last: Infertile Women's Journey to Building a Family With Donated Eggs

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Lai, Annie
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Many women expect that they will become mothers to biological, genetically related children one day; however, some women will have trouble doing so and some will never be able to. The purpose of this capstone project is to illuminate the unique experiences and key psychosocial challenges that emerge as women navigate female-factor infertility diagnosis, fertility treatment, and egg donation. The consolidation and synthesis of the literature on this subject resulted in a three-stage conceptualization of the infertility journey, where each stage is understood through an overarching theme. The infertility diagnosis stage is marked by disenfranchised grief, the fertility treatment stage is viewed as reproductive trauma, and ambiguous, nonfinite loss, and the final stage of egg donation is a period of resolution. The distinctions across stages are intended to serve as a resource for counsellors to offer targeted support in alleviating the negative psychosocial impact on infertile women. This paper concludes with recommendations for practice and future research.
infertility, female-factor infertility, infertility diagnosis, fertility treatment, egg donation, counselling