Rewriting fertilization: Trust, pain, and exit points

O. Benjamin, Hila Ha'elyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feminists debate the nature of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and women's choice in relation to it. In this article, we focus on the process of becoming and being an IVF user without questioning women's choices. This process is empirically examined within a feminist body approach. Based on interviews with 22 Israeli Jewish women who went through IVF treatments in two infertility clinics where one of the authors has herself undergone IVF treatment, the article focuses on women's pain. We ask how IVF users learn about, and manage pain, and whether the pain they experience drove them to abandon the treatment. The analysis we present reveals a process, based and shaped by the women's trust in IVF and by an inner struggle. Attempting to cope with pain, the women relied on an image of their bodies as detached from their souls, and they initiated exit points from IVF treatment once their emotional experience became powerful to the extent that such detachment could no longer be sustained.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)667-678
JournalWomen's studies international forum
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


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