Infertility among low-income Latinos

Fertil Steril. 2006 Apr;85(4):882-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.09.052. Epub 2006 Mar 9.


Objective: To explore the experience of infertility among low-income Latinos.

Design: Ethnographic qualitative interview study.

Setting: Academic research environment.

Patient(s): One hundred eighteen Latinos who sought medical care for infertility.

Intervention(s): Tape-recorded interviews with 88 women and 30 men were transcribed and analyzed for emergent themes.

Main outcome measure(s): Cultural beliefs regarding fertility and infertility, the value placed on having children, access to and use of health care resources, and non-biomedical approaches to having children.

Result(s): Latino women and men believed that children were the basis of the marital relationship and that childless marriages were considered a failure. No couples had the economic resources to pursue medical treatment beyond a basic level. A difference was found in approaches to infertility treatment between women raised in the United States and those raised elsewhere, with those raised in the United States being more assertive in seeking care. Women frequently saw practitioners of Western biomedicine and humoral medicine. Women reported that they would continue trying to conceive until they reached menopause.

Conclusion(s): Infertility is a devastating experience for Latinos that has far-reaching effects, both on women and men individually and on the couple relationship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Infertility / economics
  • Infertility / ethnology*
  • Infertility / psychology
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Poverty / ethnology*
  • Poverty / psychology
  • San Francisco / ethnology