THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 17, No. 2, November 2019
Infertility and Treatment Seeking Behaviour among Women in Mushin Local Government Area, Lagos State, Nigeria
Chidinma Kenechi Okafor, John Lekan Oyefara, Michael Kunnuji
Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, Nigeria
A paradox in the demographic and epidemiological transitions in sub-Saharan Africa is that as population growth has increased, the rates of infertility have also increased, due to higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and earlier age at initiation of sexual intercourse. The majority of married couples desire to have their own biological children, and if they are unable to have children, it is, in most cases, the result of their inability to reproduce. The objective of this study was to examine the social context of infertility treatment seeking behaviour among women in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria. Three theories were used to provide explanation for treatment seeking behaviour among women with unmet fertility needs. They include the Health Behaviour model (HBM), theory of stigma and Caldwell’s wealth flow theory of fertility. Mixed methods, including a cross-sectional survey and in-depth interview was adopted. The study revealed that nature of infertility and perceived cause of infertility have a significant influence on treatment seeking behaviour among women with unmet fertility needs. A significant number of the respondents visit traditional healers thus these traditional healers should be trained to aid them address the issue of infertility without complications.
Keywords: Infertility, treatment seeking behaviour, fertility, Mushin, Lagos State