Many couples worldwide are affected by infertility, which is defined as an inability to conceive after at least one year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Many Muslim and Middle Eastern societies place a high societal value on having children and therefore, couples who are unable to conceive for various reasons often find themselves feeling stigmatized and socially isolated. Muslim refugees living in the United States face additional challenges and barriers to care due to their refugee status. This review is a synthesis of existing literature that 1) identifies Islamic viewpoints on infertility and assistive reproductive technology (ART), 2) explores the psychosocial impact of infertility for Muslim refugees, and 3) identifies barriers to care for this population. A PubMed search was conducted which yielded 592 records. After screening and removal of duplicates, 37 full-length texts were included for review. Key findings included different religious perspectives regarding various forms of ART between the two major sects of Islam (Sunni and Shia), significant social stigma and stress from infertility, and barriers to care such as high cost of treatment. Future research is needed in this area to better provide culturally competent care to Muslim couples experiencing infertility.
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Reaves, Simone N. and Hauck, Fern R.
"Infertility in Muslim Refugees: A Review of the Literature,"
Journal of Refugee & Global Health: Vol. 2
, Article 9.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/rgh/vol2/iss2/9