Risk factors associated with secondary infertility in women of childbearing age: A matched case–control study

  • Madonna Ogechukwu Emmanuel
  • Joseph Ayodeji Olamijulo
  • Ekanem Effiong Ekanem
Keywords: Gynaecological history, obstetric history, risk factors, secondary infertility, social history


Background: Childbearing and rearing are important events in every human life and are associated with the feeling of completeness, family integration, and happiness. However, approximately 1 in 10 couples worldwide experience difficulty in achieving conception.

Objective: This study aims to determine the risk factors associated with secondary infertility in women attending the obstetrics and gynecology clinics of a tertiary hospital in Lagos, Nigeria.

Methodology: This individually matched case–control study was carried out from July to October 2015. A total of 160 cases were recruited from the gynecology clinic and 160 matched controls were recruited from the antenatal clinic. Data were collected using a structured interviewer‑administered questionnaire. The information collected included sociodemographic characteristics, social history, and obstetric and gynecological history. A conditional logistic regression analysis controlling for possible confounders, which included variables significant at the univariate level, was undertaken.

Results: Association with secondary infertility was found with a history of unsafe abortion (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 9.3607, confidence interval [CI] = 3.7664–23.2645), alcohol use (AOR = 16.8102, CI = 1.3972–202.2487), family history of secondary infertility (AOR = 4.7346, CI = 1.4892–15.0523), and history of sexually transmitted infections (AOR = 4.5428, CI = 1.7658–11.6866). Contrariwise, a history of regular menses and normal vaginal delivery, respectively, were found to be protective. No statistically significant relationship was observed between educational level or alcohol use of partners and secondary infertility in this study.

Conclusion: The extrinsic risk factors identified in this study should be taken into consideration when designing preventive and treatment programs toward reducing the burden of secondary infertility.

Keywords: Gynaecological history; obstetric history; risk factors; secondary infertility; social history


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0189-5117