Lived Experiences of Seeking Care for Infertility Among Women at Two Selected Fertility Centers in Kampala District

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Uganda Christrian University
Infertility is a complex challenge and a medical condition which affects many individuals globally. It affects both males and females in diverse proportions informing a plethora of unpleasant experiences which inflicts pains. In most cultures the world over, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, women bear the burden of “involuntary childlessness”, which over 48million couples around the globe are faced with. Women living with infertility are constrained to prove their womanhood through motherhood, thus informing their quest for treatment even from a wide range of unqualified medics and unheralded sources. The quest to achieve conception through treatment, presents with physical, social, psychological, spiritual and financial challenges. This study explored the perceptions about infertility which the women seeking treatment had, their perceptions of the causes of infertility and adjoining risk factors, the challenges they face as it relates to the cost of treatment and the coping mechanisms (strategies) they employed while undergoing treatment, at two fertility centres in Kampala district. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 women seeking treatment for infertility, selected and recruited using purposive sampling method (in which the participants were randomly picked). Data generated from the study showed that most women seeking treatment for infertility had limited knowledge about infertility and its causes. Also, the cost of treatment of infertility was a burden to most women thus adversely influencing accessibility of treatment and completion of treatment. It was also observed that women employed different mechanisms in their bid to cope with the treatment. Therefore, effective dissemination of information on infertility and its causes, would ameliorate challenges faced. Financial interventions through health insurance schemes are also needed in order to present women seeking treatment with the opportunity of achieving conception. Concerted efforts should also be made by fertility treatment providers and care givers, towards assisting women seeking treatment in coping effectively.
Masters dissertation