Perceptions and Health Care-Seeking Behaviours for Infertility in Sagamu, Nigeria

  • O. E. Amoran
  • V. J. Animasahun
  • A. A. A. Oyelekan
  • O. O. Sholeye
Keywords: aborting, couples, infertility, perception, prevention practices, sagamu


Background:  Infertility is a reproductive health morbidity and a major public health issue in many developing countries.

Objective: To  assess the perception and health care – seeking behaviours of  couples for infertility in Sagamu Local Government Area (LGA), southwest Nigeria.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional survey conducted over a three-week period between May and April, 2013 in Sagamu LGA of Ogun State, Nigeria using a multi-stage sampling technique. Data was collected by trained interviewers using a semi-structured questionnaire.

Results: A total of 500 participants were surveyed. Majority, 73.8% believed that sexually transmitted infections cause infertility while 90.5% opined that previous abortion causes infertility whereas 86.1% believe that unsafe abortion is related to infertility. Some (11.0%) believed that infertility is mainly spiritual. The prevalence of infertility in the population was 16.8%. Among those with infertility, 44.6% have sought help from the spiritualists.

Conclusion: This study showed that about half of the people with infertility have sought help from the spiritualist as a treatment option. Couples should be encouraged to visit hospitals for proper medical management of infertility problems.

Author Biographies

O. E. Amoran
Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care,
Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital,
Sagamu, Nigeria
V. J. Animasahun
Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care,
Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital,
Sagamu, Nigeria
A. A. A. Oyelekan
Department of Surgery,
Olabisi Onabanjo University,
Sagamu, Nigeria
O. O. Sholeye
Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care,
Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital,
Sagamu, Nigeria


Omosun A O, Odeyemi K. Knowledge, attitude and practice towards child adoption amongst women attending infertility clinics in Lagos State, Nigeria. Afr J Pharm Health Care Fam Med. 2011; 3(1). doi:10.4102/phcfm.v3i1.259.

Ola T, Aladekomo F, Oludare B. Knowledge and beliefs of the General Public about infertility in Osun State, southwest Nigeria. J Reprod Infertility 2010; 1(2): 26-32.

Rutstein S, Shah I. Infecundity, infertility and childlessness in developing countries. In: Information and Knowledge for Optional Health (INFO) Project USAID. 2005.

Adewunmi AA, Etti EA, Tayo AO, Rabiu KA, Akindele RA, Ottun TA, Akinlusi FM. Factors associated with acceptability of child adoption as a management option for infertility among women in a developing country. Int J Women’s Health 2012; 4: 365–72.

Hammerberg K, Kirkman M. Infertility in resource-constrained settings: moving towards amelioration. Reproductive biomedical online. 2013; 26: 189-95.

Okonofua F, Harris D, Odebiyi A, Snow R. The social meaning of infertility in Southwest Nigeria. Health Trans Rev 1997; 7: 205-20.

Okonofua F. New Reproductive Technologies and infertility treatment in Africa. Afr J Reprod Health 2003; 7(1): 7-8.

Bertschat FL, Alexander M. Infertility after mumps orchitis. Munch Med Wochenschr 1981; 123(15): 606-8.

Boivin J, Bunting L, Collins JA, Nygren KG. International estimates of infertility prevalence and treatment-seeking: potential need and demand for infertility medical care. Hum Reprod 2007 22:1506–12.

Shapiro C H. The impact of infertility on marital satisfaction. Social Casework: The Journal of Contemporary Social Work 1982; 2: 387-393.

Snow R, Okonofua FE, Kane T, Farley TMM, Pinol A. Prevalence and determinants of infertility in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Contracep Fert Sex 1995; 23(1): 544.

Lauria L, Ballard TJ, Caldora M, Mazzanti C, Verdecchia A. Reproductive disorders and pregnancy outcomes among female flight attendants. Aviat Space Environ Med 2006;77(5): 533-9.

Lotti F, Corona G, Rastrelli G, Forti G, Jannini EA, Maggi M. Clinical correlates of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men with couple infertility. J Sex Med 2012; 9(10): 2698-707.

Forrest L, Gilbert M S. Infertility: An unanticipated and prolonged life crisis. J of Mental Health Counsell 1992; 14: 42-58.

Gao J, Zhang X, Su P, Liu J, Shi K, Hao Z, Zhou J, Liang C. Relationship between Sexual Dysfunction and Psychological Burden in Men with Infertility: A Large Observational Study in China. J Sex Med 2013 10(8): 1935-42.

Menning B. Infertility: A guide for the childless couple. (2nd ed).Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. 1988: 5.

Etuk S. Reproductive health: global infertility trend. Niger J Physiol Sci 2009; 24 (2): 85 - 90.

Orubuloye I, Oni J. Health transition in Nigeria in the era of the Structural Adjustment Programme. Health Trans Rev 1996; 6 (supplement): 301-24.

Nnadi E, Kabat H. Nigerian’s use of Native and Western medicine for the same illness. Publ Health Rep 1984 99: 93-8.

Nwajiaku LA, Mbachu II, Ikeako L. Prevalence, clinical pattern and major causes of male infertility in Nnewi, South East Nigeria: A Five-Year Review. AFRIMEDIC Journal 2012;3(2): 16-9.