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Annals of African Medicine
Annals of African Medicine Society
ISSN: 1596-3519
Vol. 10, No. 1, 2011, pp. 19-24
Bioline Code: am11004
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Annals of African Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2011, pp. 19-24

 en Psychosocial characteristics of female infertility in a tertiary health institution in Nigeria
Omoaregba, Joyce O.; James, Bawo O.; Lawani, Ambrose O.; Morakinyo, Olufemi & Olotu, Osasu S.


Objectives : Women with infertility experience higher rates of psychological distress compared with their fertile counterparts. In developing countries, socio-cultural factors may aggravate this distress. We aimed to determine the prevalence of psychological distress as well as its associated socio-cultural characteristics among women attending the infertility clinic of a tertiary hospital in Nigeria.
Materials and Methods : Women (n = 100) attending an infertility clinic were consecutively recruited over a two-month period and compared with a similar number of pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at the same hospital. A semi-structured questionnaire was designed to record socio-demographic and clinical variables. The 30-item General Health Questionnaire was used to screen for psychological distress.
Results : The prevalence of probable psychological distress was significantly higher among the infertile group compared with their fertile counterparts (P<0.001). There were significant differences between the groups in terms of their mean age (P<0.01), employment status (P<0.02), educational status (P<0.01), and duration of marriage (P<0.001). Infertile women who had previously sought help from a traditional or faith-based healer for infertility were more likely to experience probable psychological distress (P<0.017).
Conclusion : Infertile women are more vulnerable to psychological distress and require psychological support. There is a need to incorporate mental health screening and treatment in the routine care of infertile women in Nigeria.

Infertility, psychological distress, psychosocial characteristics

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