Fielding University Press’ Struggling with Infertility Explores Devasting Effects of Infertility

Sharon Schönteich, Ph.D.

Sharon Schönteich, Ph.D.

Having a baby and becoming a parent are major developmental milestones in adulthood that most people aspire to achieve. It is typically expected pregnancy should happen naturally and seamlessly. However, when pregnancy is not achieved as expected, it usually comes as a shock. 

According to the World Health Organization, one in six people worldwide struggle with infertility. Often, these struggles are usually not broadly discussed.

That is where psychotherapist and Fielding alum Sharon Schönteich, Ph.D., wanted to help others, combat stigma, and get to more root causes and effects of infertility. 

Fielding University Press’ latest cutting-edge publication, Struggling with Infertility (ISBN: 1737943999), showcases the importance of fostering dialogues around infertility and working together to learn more about infertility and its possibilities. There is little literature available for a general audience focusing on infertility and the experiences of those who endure it. This book aims to address these gaps through research and narratives and features a foreword by Drexel University’s Pamela Geller, Ph.D.

Struggling with Infertility offers “a fantastic way of talking about infertility and starting conversations… I found it very powerful, and it hit home a couple of times. I had to put it down for several days to distance myself again. It gives good insight into what is going on while experiencing infertility,” said Carrie Wilson, PharmB (retired). 

Katara Watkins-Laws, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Washington, DC adds, that the publication “is an illuminating and heartfelt exploration into the multifaceted journey of infertility. It offers a unique blend of personal narratives and research-based insights that can appeal to those seeking information due to their lived experiences or their scientific inquiry.”

Dr. Schönteich is originally from South Africa and came to the United States in 2003. As a lifelong learner, she always wanted to work with individuals at a personal mental-health and well-being level. This passion led to the clinical psychology field after a foray in anthropology and industrial relations career paths. Her postgraduate focus is on individual psychotherapy for high-functioning young professionals in a small group private practice in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Her specializations include working with patients with depression, anxiety, adjustment, loss and grief, careers, and relationships. 

Over time, however, a more specialized focus on women’s health came into focus. That includes infertility, perinatal, postpartum, and parenthood. Her dissertation centered on first-time mothers’ experiences of motherhood after infertility. That qualitative research and her continued practice led to the culmination of narratives and other research in Struggling with Infertility. 

“I’ve also worked with a lot a people who are going through infertility through my research in a clinical and academic setting,” Dr. Schönteich said. “I’ve heard about their struggles, their stories, and more, so this book is a combination of clinical general interests, personal experience, and a lot of research. That led me to realize that work and conversations like these really need to get out there. I consider this book to be a very small contribution to a larger conversation. People tend to avoid talking about infertility. That leaves those who are struggling with infertility even more isolated.”

Dr. Schönteich also experienced infertility. While writing this book presented challenges, it was a cathartic way to work through her own emotions and feelings.

“When I started the process, I kept putting it off because I was terrified,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I’m putting myself out there to feel vulnerable.’ So, it’s been a bit of a terrifying process at the same time, just because I didn’t know how people were going to receive the book. I did eventually find a way through it, but I had to process a lot of my own stuff to get to the point where I could give it a little bit more objectivity in the research that ultimately was able to come through with that. It’s not an easy topic.”

Dr. Schönteich said that several people have relayed how they wish this book would have been readily available during their own infertility processes.

“When I was going through my own struggle, and even when I was doing the research, I would go in bookstores worldwide and look for just general reading on infertility,” Dr. Schönteich said. “And I could barely find anything. And that, to me, it is sad that there just isn’t literature out there. I had a hard time trying to get going and keep going with it. But, anybody who’s willing to put themselves out there a little bit, needs to do it because we need to continue talking about it and helping other people who are struggling and suffering needlessly.”

Struggling with Infertility is now available for $24.95 on Amazon and other online retailers. To request a review copy of the book, please contact Kaylin R. Staten at or 805.898.4076.

About the Author: Kaylin Staten

Kaylin R. Staten, APR, MPRCA, is a writer and accredited public relations practitioner based in West Virginia with two decades of professional communications experience. She serves as Fielding’s Associate Director of Communications.

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