Recent publications at The Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)

In recent months, a number of CRR members have published books contributing to discussions around male fertility, fertility in the context of endometriosis, and men’s involvement in family planning.

Associate Professor, Esmée Hanna, along with her colleague, Professor Brendan Gough based at Leeds Beckett University, recently published their joint book titled: (In) Fertile Male Bodies: Masculinities and Lifestyle Management in Neoliberal Timesas part of the special collection of books ‘Emerald Studies in Reproduction, Culture and Society’ edited by CRR director Professor Nicky Hudson in collaboration with academics at the University of Manchester.

Summary of the book

“Declining global male fertility rates generated increased attention on male fertility in recent years. Simultaneously, individualised responsibility for health has been growing. Fertility and lifestyle have therefore become seemingly intertwined.

Esmée Hanna and Brendan Gough examine men’s experiences of fertility and lifestyle practices, exploring personal experiences of the role of lifestyle in the quest for conception as well as the broader promotion of ‘lifestyle’ within both clinical and online material as a key aspect for ‘improving’ male fertility. Through the exploration of male fertility and lifestyle factors and their modification we examine the growth of healthism around infertility, the role of neoliberalism within this and how this intersects with masculinity. Using a new notion of liquid masculinity, we explore the fluid nature of societal and personal perspectives on the male infertility experience. In doing so we offer new insights into the now accepted idea that ‘sperm’ is malleable and that fertility controllable through personal choices, despite their being limited scientific evidence for such claims”.

For access options, please visit Emerald Publishing.

CRR members have also published chapters in a new edited collection ‘Technologies of Reproduction Across the Lifecourseby Dr Victoria Boydell and Dr Katharine Dow, which is also part of the special Emerald book series.

Professor Nicky Hudson and Dr Caroline Law published Chronic Uncertainty and Modest Expectations: Navigating Fertility Desires in the Context of Life With Endometriosis

Summary of chapter

“For the millions of women living with endometriosis, significant disruption to normative life expectations and a considerable impact on everyday life are common. Whilst for many women concerns about and experiences of infertility may be a central feature of life with the condition, little work has considered the impact that chronic illness has on reproductive decision-making or on the ways in which a medical condition is managed in relation to plans for conception. This chapter considers how heterosexual women with endometriosis and their male partners experience the intersection of fertility desires with the use of reproductive technologies (contraceptive and conceptive) and how these experiences intersect with the medical and surgical management of endometriosis. Three themes drawn from interview data are presented: the first considers how the uncertain and indeterminate character of endometriosis shapes imaginaries about future fertility, conception and childbearing. The second focuses on how endometriosis mediates expectations about the success of fertility treatments and technologies; exploring in particular the manifestation of low expectations in relation to possible success. The third theme considers how endometriosis and fertility pathways intersect, creating specific disruptions whereby fertility treatment may be delayed by endometriosis care, and where endometriosis care may be interrupted or paused by fertility desires. Our data show how endometriosis shapes reproductive desires, decision-making and experiences and has important implications for understanding how for those living with a chronic illness, plans for having children are made within a context of biographical and biomedical contingency”.

And, Dr Amanda Wilson published Men as Irrational Variables in Family Planning? Understanding the Landscape, Technological Advancements, and Extending Health Psychology Theories and Models

Summary of chapter

“Men are often considered by the health care system to be a disengaged accessory when it comes to family planning. In reality they act as an equal part in the reproductive equation. Despite qualitative research suggesting some men currently do take primary responsibility for family planning, men are further marginalised being classed as an irrational variable in large national datasets. Reports ignore men in general by failing to record basic demographics, for example, age is not captured and ethnicity has two options: white and non-white. This leaves little ability to analyse men’s family planning knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. Technological advancements have resulted in new forms of male contraceptive methods reaching phase III testing (from pills to gels), and the market is moving towards diversified options that will allow even more men to take primary contraceptive responsibility. Other advancements include the sexual enhancement product Viagra becoming available over the counter, and reproductive wellbeing apps have been created to allow men to test their fertility at home. Without research to understand the ever-changing landscape for men we are ill-prepared to understand what these new products and advancements mean for men’s role. Using various forms of publicly available online data and previous empirical research, this chapter will review men’s response to new contraceptives, sexual enhancement products, and reproductive wellbeing apps. The results will be discussed in relation to updating the Subjective Expected Utility (SEU) Theory, the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the integrated developmental and decision-making contraceptive models used by health psychologists”.

For access to either of these chapters, please visit Emerald Publishing.

CRR staff members, Dr Rowena Doughty and Dr Diane Menagé have published an academic textbook aimed at students and midwives: Introduction to Research for Midwives.

Summary of the book

“With an increasing expectation that all health professionals, including midwives, will base their practice on evidence, this popular book demystifies the world of research for midwives in the UK. Introduction to Research for Midwives is a highly regarded resource that helps the reader develop their research skills and guides them toward using evidence effectively in their clinical work. Written clearly and simply, it covers research methods and processes, critical evaluation of research, and application of research to practice. This book is suitable for both students and practising midwives, whether they are producers or end-users of research, or simply need to understand how to critique research articles and produce literature reviews.

•            Simple language, clear writing and structure – can be dipped into or read from cover to cover

•            Extensive guidelines on critiquing research articles and producing successful literature reviews

•            Student friendly – includes tips for producing successful assignments

•            New chapter on ‘How to Write an Undergraduate Dissertation’

•            ‘Conducting Research’ and ‘Critiquing Research’ sections in each chapter – suitable for midwives using research in different ways

•            Reflection prompts to encourage readers to engage with the narrative

•            Reader activities to enhance learning and understanding

•            Comprehensive and fully updated throughout

•            Glossary to provide clear explanations of research jargon

•            Linked to the NMC Standards and Proficiencies for Midwives, and can support professional revalidation”.

For access options, please visit Elsevier Publishing.

Furthermore, Dr Helene Mitchell and Dr Wendy Norton have published a joint chapter Psychological impact of infertility and ART procedures in Management of Infertility: A Practical Approach, edited by Dr Antonio Simone Laganà and Dr Antonino Guglielmino, examining the psychological and social implications of infertility and its treatment.

Summary of chapter

“The psychological consequences of people experience infertility and fertility related treatment can be significant and long lasting and have an impact across a number of life domains, including close relationships. It is therefore important that healthcare professionals ae mindful of this when interacting with people seeking treatment and ensure psychological care is routinely implemented as part of the patient’s treatment plan. In this chapter we provide an overview of the work on the psychosocial impact of fertility problems and the ways in which people adjust, the impact of fertility-related treatment and posttreatment implications, including the consequences of unsuccessful treatment”.

For access options, please visit Elsevier Publishing.

For more information on publications at the CRR, please sign up to the CRR mailing list.

By Jessica Turner

Doughty, R. and Menage, D. (2022) Introduction to Research for Midwives, 4th edn. Elsevier Health Sciences: London.

Hanna, E.S. and Gough, B. (2022) (In) Fertile Male Bodies: Masculinities and Lifestyle Management in Neoliberal Times. Emerald Publishing Limited: Bingley.                           

Hudson, N. and Law, C. (2022), “Chronic Uncertainty and Modest Expectations: Navigating Fertility Desires in the Context of Life With Endometriosis”, Boydell, V. and Dow, K. (Ed.) Technologies of Reproduction Across the Lifecourse, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 83-99.

Mitchell, H. and Norton, W. (2022), “Psychological impact of infertility and ART procedures”,  Laganà, A.S. and Guglielmino, A. (Ed.) Management of Infertility: A Practical Approach, Elsevier Academic Press, London, pp. 387-393.  

Wilson, A. (2022), “Men as Irrational Variables in Family Planning? Understanding the Landscape, Technological Advancements, and Extending Health Psychology Theories and Models”, Boydell, V. and Dow, K. (Ed.) Technologies of Reproduction Across the Lifecourse, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 225-246.


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