Psychosocial characteristics of infertile women in a Nigerian tertiary hospital
Introduction: High premium is placed on childbirth particularly after marriage in our society. Sub‑Sahara Africa is known to have the high incidence of infertility and the woman is usually blamed for the problem. Stress is known to have effect on ovulation and therefore conception thereby forming a vicious cycle. The study was to determine the psychosocial problems and psychiatric morbidity among infertile women and to determine the difference in psychosocial problems in primary and secondary infertility patients.
Method: The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) questionnaire, the 12 ‑item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ‑12) and the HADS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) were administered to 111 patients.
Result: The mean age for the respondents was 33.6 ± 5.8 years. There were more cases of secondary infertility 58 (52.3%) compared to primary fertility 53 (47.7%). The study revealed a fairly high degree of psychological morbidity among the respondents, a depressive rate of 39.6%, anxiety rate of 48.6% and psychiatry morbidity of 39.6%.There was no significant difference in prevalence of these morbidity between the patients with primary and secondary infertility.
Conclusion: Both primary and secondary infertility are associated with significant psychosocial and psychiatric morbidity. Psychological strain itself can also be a cause or aggravate infertility therefore psychological assessment and co‑management with the psychiatrist should be encouraged.
Keywords: Anxiety; depression; infertility; primary; psychosocial; secondary