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An assessment of the Coping Strategies to address Infertility among Couples in Kisumu County, Kenya

Anthony Wando Odek
Truphie Kwaka
Munyae Mulinge
Solomon Koyi


Introduction: According to statistical evidence, infertility is a global challenge which many people of all social, economic and cultural clasess are grappling with. One of the biggest issues revolves around the response ability towards this health problem. This paper therefore investigated the coping strategies used by women to address infertility in Kisumu County, Kenya.
Materials and Methods: The study was guided by the coping theory propounded by Lazarus and Folkman. Data was collected from 200 respondents using semi-structured questionnaires. At the same time, six focus group discussions (FGDs) comprising of 10-12 individuals and from 36 key informant interviews (KIIs) were employed to collect qualitative data.
Results: It was established that infertile couples addressed the problem of infertility in various ways including seeking solace in prayers, soliciting for social capital from friends, relatives and colleagues, and seeking alternative traditional herbal medicine. It was also established that the choice of coping strategies employed by couples was influenced by their social-economic backgrounds such as religious affiliation, level of education and place of residence. Few women sought medical intervention to address infertility because of the costs attached to the option.
Conclusions: Infertility coping strategies for women in Kisumu County entail problem-focused and emotionally driven approaches.
Recommendations:  The authors recommend incorporation of traditional and medical solutions in dealing with issues of infertility. More research on herbs and other traditional methods of addressing infertility are also recommended. Modern technology such as sperm banks and in- vitro fertilization should also be introduced in the most acceptable ways for adoption by choice.

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eISSN: 1022-9272