Experiences and Health-seeking Behaviour of Couples in Ekiti-State Nigeria towards Infertility
Background: Infertility has been described as the most important reproductive health concerns of Nigerian women. Based on the importance placed on offspring in the African context, infertility contributes to high level of psychological distress, conflicts between couples and subject those faced with the challenge to hazardous sexual behaviors. This study therefore explored the experiences and health-seeking behaviors of couples towards infertility.Methods: The study employed a qualitative
... ch design. In-depth interviews were conducted with fifteen participants who had been diagnosed with primary or secondary infertility, who were currently receiving treatment at a tertiary health institution in the Ekiti State. Thematic categorization and content analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Majority of the participant were Female (14 out of 15), between the ages of 20-35(80%) and are Christian (100%). All the participants reported negative emotional and psychological effects of infertility as they all expressed their unhappiness on the issue of infertility and claimed that the issue has affected them in all spheres of life (socially, marital relationship and psychologically). Two of the participants claimed that their husbands had abandon them because of their inability to conceive. Majority of the participants also claimed that there is social stigma associated with the condition as almost all (14 of 15) said the society is not doing anything to support women facing infertility issue. All the participants utilized medical treatments in combination with religious activities as a form of treatment. Conclusion: The society is not doing enough to support couples with infertility issue. Supports group should be created in the society where couples with similar challenge can come together to freely discuss and share their experiences as this could help in alleviating the psychological distress associated with infertility.