A life course perspective on Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome: women's experiences and negotiations of living with an underdeveloped uterus and vagina

Amalie Hahn Jensen, Morten Krogh Herlin, Ida Vogel, Stina Lou*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

PURPOSE: Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is characterized by the absence or underdevelopment of the uterus and upper part of the vagina. It is usually diagnosed during adolescence, and the present study investigates how women experience and negotiate to live with MRKH syndrome long-term.

METHODS: From January to March 2021, eighteen Danish women with MRKH syndrome participated in semi-structured interviews via video conference. The mean time since diagnosis was 11.5 years. A thematic analysis using the life course framework as a theoretical approach was applied.

RESULTS: The analysis identified the diagnosis as a turning point, that dramatically altered the women's imagined futures. Not conforming to dominant social norms regarding sexuality and pregnancy meant that the women continuously managed and negotiated the meaning and impact of MRKH syndrome in relation to the five principles of the life course perspective: (1) Lifelong development, (2) Timing, (3) Human agency, (4) Linked lives, and (5) Historical time and place.

CONCLUSION: Using the life course framework contributed to a holistic understanding of life with MRKH syndrome by showing how the meaning and consequences of the congenital condition changed over time and in adaptation to gendered and age-related social norms and expectations.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONThe perceived meaning and impact of living with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome change over time, and women's information and support needs thus change accordinglySensitive, clinical communication is essential when discussing treatment optionsOnline communities may provide support and reduce feelings of loneliness.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftDisability and Rehabilitation
Vol/bind46
Nummer6
Sider (fra-til)1130-1140
Antal sider11
ISSN0963-8288
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2024

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