Protective Relational Factors of Lesbian Couples Navigating the Fertility Process

Meredith A. Rausch, Haley D. Wikoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little research about lesbian couples’ experiences with fertility treatment exists in the counseling literature. While there is an increase in lesbian couples exploring fertility options to expand their families, it is important to understand their experiences during this stressful process. This research seeks to understand these experiences using Moustakas’ Imaginative Variation method with seven lesbian couples. Results include feelings of isolation, psychological and physical stress. Despite myriad difficulties associated with assisted reproductive technology, participants’ experiences show the presence of strong relationship factors, divided into three categories: connectedness, mutuality, and resilience. The use of Relational Cultural Theory may be helpful to lesbian couples looking to expand their families through reproductive methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1725-1742
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2023


  • Fertility
  • assisted reproductive technology
  • counselor
  • lesbian
  • qualitative research
  • relational cultural theory
  • relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology


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