Psychosocial impact of infertility among women attending Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial Hospital Kaduna, North Western Nigeria
Background: Fertility is highly valued in most cultures and the wish for a child is one of the most important tasks in every family. Infertility therefore affects several aspects of women's lives leading to psychosocial sequelae such as depression, marital problems, feelings of worthlessness and impaired relationships with family and friends. This study aimed to contribute towards providing a more holisitic health care for infertile women by determining the psychosocial impact of infertility among women at Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial Hospital, Tudun Wada, Kaduna.
Method: The study was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Gynaecology clinic of Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial Hospital, Tudun Wada, Kaduna. Two hundred and fifty-four consenting women who presented to the clinic during the study period were recruited consecutively. A questionnaire containing information on socio-demographic characteristics, family characteristics, medical history, health care financing, social support, along with a General Health Questionnaire and a family APGAR as perceived by the participants were administered. Data was analyzed using EPI-INFO statistical package.
Results: Majority of the participants were Hausas (70.1%), Muslims (91.7%), Secondary school leavers (34.6%), unemployed (52.8%) with an average monthly income of less than N20,000.00 (73.6%) and within the age group of 25 – 30 years (40.2%). Most were from monogamous families (70.1%) with most families having between 0 – 5 children (89.4%). The prevalence of psychological distress among the study participants was 79.9% with 48.4%, 22.8% and 8.7% of them having mild, moderate and severe psychological distress respectively. The main negative psychosocial effects of infertility among the participants were feeling unhappy or depressed (26.5%), poor sleep (23.5%), inability to enjoy day to day activities (11.2%), lack of concentration at work (10.2%), and loss of confidence in oneself (7.7%).
Conclusion: A high proportion of infertile women experience negative psychosocial effects of infertility. Family function, age and family type had significant relationship with psychosocial problems of infertility. Infertile women should therefore be offered social support and psychotherapy along with the medical treatment they require. This will help to remedy the negative effects of the infertility and improve their overall health outcomes.