More Than a Physical Condition: The Stigmatized Experience of Infertility


  • Jalisa Karim



Infertility, Pronatalism, Gender roles, Assisted reproductive technologies, Mental health, Stigma


Despite its high prevalence, infertility is a very stigmatized experience. This paper explores how infertility can be seen not only in physical health terms, but also as a distressing event with significant mental health implications that result from living in a pronatalist society. Women are especially impacted by the consequences of infertility due to gendered expectations of parenthood and the medicalization of infertility. Moving forward, to destigmatize infertility and reduce adverse mental health effects, society as a whole must start normalizing childfree people and valuing women for more than their reproductive capabilities.