Reproductive Loss and Bereavement in Medically Assisted Reproduction

Project: Research

Project participants


The sociological study by Dr. Julia Böcker and PD Dr. Nina Jakoby seeks to understand experiences of reproductive loss and grief by intended parents who have undergone a fertility treatment. On the one hand, reproductive loss refers to miscarriage and other forms of embryo or baby loss. On the other hand, failed reproduction often goes hand in hand with ‘secondary losses’, e.g., loss of a happy partnership or an identity as a future parent. Mourning involuntary childlessness, unsuccessful fertility treatment or pregnancy loss may also be rooted in failing social norms and ideals regarding life-course, femininity, natural parenthood or genetic relation. By conducting narrative interviews with affected women (and their partners), we explore the social conditions, modes and meanings of loss and bereavement as well as coping strategies within the context of fertility treatment.