How infertility patients and providers view and confront religious and spiritual issues
Questions arise concerning whether and how religion affects infertility treatment decisions. Thirty-seven infertility providers and patients were interviewed. Patients confront religious, spiritual, and metaphysical issues coping with treatment failures and religious opposition from clergy and others. Religion can provide meaning and support, but poses questions and objections that patients may try to avoid or negotiate-e.g., concealing treatment or changing clergy. Differences exist within and between religions. Whether and how much providers discuss these issues with patients varies. These data, the first to examine several key aspects of how infertility providers and patients confront religious/spiritualissues, have important implications for practice, research, guidelines, and education.