Divorce, polygamy and extramarital affairs remain, as they have long been, social solutions to infertility, as do various forms of adoption and fostering. Examples of other social solutions include the continuing practice in some cultures of multiple wives in response to infertility (or lack of a son) or the custom in some cultures requiring a sibling (usually an eldest son) to provide one of his children to a younger, childless sibling.
Women’s bodies, especially in developing countries, are frequently the locus through which social, economic, and political power is exercised. Where the role or status of women is defined by their reproductive capacity, as when womanhood is defined by motherhood, infertility can have significant social repercussions including unstable marriages, domestic violence, stigmatization and in severe cases, ostracism. Infertile women in developing countries may suffer life-threatening physical or psychological violence when having children is a woman’s only chance to improve her status in her society or family. Individuals who are thought to be infertile are generally relegated to an inferior status, and stigmatized with many labels. Hence, childlessness has varied consequences through its effects on societies and on the lifestyle of individuals. Parenthood is personal for some women, whereas by some as a duty.

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