Definitions

Bit quiet here..buried under assignments. Has meant I have had time or energy to think or feel much which isn’t a bad thing….though today ended up a low after some random thoughts (not helped by barely sleeping last night!).

One of the assignments I’ve been working on recently was about infertility…..we had to hand a draft in & then the tutor gives feedback, we can make changes then hand it in for grading. One of the pieces of feedback was around a choice of word j used and it got me thinking. 

I described infertility as a chronic illness (I was relating to some of the similarities about it and other chronic illnesses, she reckoned it should be described as a chronic condition. But when I looked up the World Health Organisation definition of infertility….it called it a disease!

So then I’ve been trying to figure out what the differences between an illness, a diesease and a condition are…..seems everyone agrees their different, but not how they differ.

I’m no wondering, how do you think of infertility? Is it an illness, a disease or a condition (or something else) to you?

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9 thoughts on “Definitions

  1. That is a hard question. I had to look up the definitions for all of them, and it really could be all three. Lots of diseases and illness fall under chronic condition. I think it comes to your preferences. I, however, would go with illness over disease or condition.

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  2. I guess I think of it like a condition. That sounds the most correct to me. Because with the world condition there is maybe the idea that there might be a possibility for the condition to change.. Like for couples who have unexplained infertility for instance but then eventually manage to have a baby. However when there is no chance then maybe the word disease better.

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    • I get where you’re coming from. I think part of the issue with choosing a word is that even if a person has a baby, they can still be infertile.
      Maybe because there are so many possible causes of infertility it’s hard to clearly label it.

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  3. I would go with disease or condition over illness depending on the specific diagnosis. (Genetic? Overgrowth? etc) Mostly because I think of illnesses as being something that can get better or as having a cure (also something you catch like a bacteria or virus) which isn’t the case with infertility.

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    • Some others had similar thoughts – but then how do you explain endometriosis which I’ve always though of as a chronic illness, and which there isn’t a cure for. I’ve come to the conclusion there is no cut & dried correct answer 🙂

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  4. Yea there’s definitely a lot of overlap. And I don’t think it would be wrong to use any of those terms. I personally would use ‘chronic disease’ for endometriosis because it’s somewhat like a tumour and typically cancer tumours are considered diseases.

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