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Abstract

This report is an explication of the process of conception in infertile couples as illuminated by 24 infertile couples and a comparison group of 6 couples with no fertility impairments. Employing techniques generic to grounded theory research, the investigators found that infertile couples lived conception as a series of biological and phenomenological moments. The process of biomedically-assisted conception consisted of three components including: (a) forcing conception; (b) resolving conceptional ambiguity; and (c) reconciling conception as an idea and as an event. The findings suggest the need for a re-examination of current orientations to pregnancy time and space and appraisal of couples' interpretations of conception. In addition, the convergence of the conception experiences of infertile and fertile couples raises questions about the meaning of normal conception in the current technological context of reproduction.