British South Asian communities and infertility services

Lorraine A. Culley*, Nicky Hudson, Frances L. Rapport, Savita Katbamna, Mark R D Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents key findings from the first major study of the provision of infertility services to South Asian communities in the UK. The research aimed to explore the social meanings of infertility and to examine the experiences of couples receiving fertility treatment. Focus groups with people from Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian communities (n=93) revealed a strongly pro-natalist ideology and a relatively limited knowledge of infertility and treatments. Interviews with 50 participants from the same communities revealed a general satisfaction with secondary level infertility services. However, a minority felt inadequately informed about their condition, tests undertaken and treatment options; only one-third were given any written information about treatment; many were concerned about delays and waiting times; a minority felt that staff could be more sympathetic in their response to 'failed' treatment and several couples suggested that additional emotional support would be helpful. No information or resources were available in any South Asian language and the arrangements for communication support for non-English speakers were generally less than adequate. There was little evidence of the use of data on ethnic or religious background in infertility clinics. Recommendations for policy and practice are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Fertility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Assisted conception
  • Communication
  • Ethnicity
  • Infertility
  • Interpretation
  • South Asian

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