Health seeking behaviour of infertile women in Gombe, north eastern Nigeria
Context: Health seeking behaviour of infertile women is an area that has received scant attention in our environment.
Objective: To document the health seeking behaviour of infertile women in Gombe, Northeastern Nigeria.
Study Design, Setting and Subjects: This is a cross sectional study of infertile women seen at the gynaecological clinic of the Federal Medical Centre Gombe from January 2005 to December 2005. A total of 119 infertile women were interviewed.
Results: They were aged 22-40 with a mean of 27.81+4.727years. The majority, 85(71.4%) were in their second and third decades. Only 37 (31.1%) had living children. Most, 69(58%) had post-secondary education with 32(26.9%) being non literate. The parity ranged from 0-2 with a mean of 0.50 + 0.535. Majority, 68 (57.1%) were Muslims while Christians made up 51(42.9%). Almost 40% sought for care more than three years after being unable to conceive with only 27(22.7%) being cared for by specialists. Sixty five (55%) had previously visited an orthodox health institution, while 60(50.4%) used traditional medication. Most of the traditional healers visited were herbalists (18.5%) native doctors (16.8%) and marabout's (10.1%). Most of those childless were Muslims (X2=23.615, P=0.000). The Muslims also tended to seek help later than their Christian counterparts (X2=49.132, P=0.000). Health seeking behaviour is significantly influenced by education (X2=2.747, P=0.000). Parity significantly influenced health seeking behaviour with the parous more likely to delay seeking help (X2=71.457, P=0.000).
Conclusion: Delay in seeking care and patronage of traditional healers and non specialist tend to procrastinate arrival to appropriate health facility.
Key words: health seeking behaviour, infertility, women, Gombe
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