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The Elusive EmbryoHow Women and Men Approach New Reproductive Technologies$
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Gay Becker

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224308

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224308.001.0001

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Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

(p.171) Chapter 10 Shifting Gears
The Elusive Embryo

Gay Becker

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the cumulative effects of infertility treatment on the life of a couple. The pursuit of treatment initially ameliorated women's sense of failure and made them feel they were taking responsible action. After they had been in treatment for some time, however, women began to feel affected by infertility treatment and frightened by their dependency on medical technology. They felt out of control and observed changes in themselves that they viewed as negative. When women and men use reproductive technologies to ameliorate infertility, it is common for them to put life “on hold.” The combination of repeated failures to conceive and the need to go on with their lives often catapults them into a crisis. Disruption to life serves as a catalyst for rethinking common assumptions about life. Disruptions often reveal deep-seated cultural expectations and cast new light on everyday practices.

Keywords:   infertility treatment, medical technology, reproductive technologies, catalyst

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