Sociocultural Implications of Infertility and Challenges in Accessing Assisted Reproductive Technology: Experiences of Couples from Two Health Facilities in Southern Ghana

Gideon Nii Okai Okantey, Emmanuel Brenyah Adomako, Frank Darkwa Baffour, David Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: In most traditional societies in Ghana, infertility is unacceptable and every couple is expected to conceive children by any means. This study explores the sociocultural implications of infertility in Ghana and the challenges couples encounter in accessing assisted reproductive technology. Methods: The study used a qualitative descriptive design in two health facilities in an urban community in Southern Ghana. The study recruited 20 participants: 16 individuals who had accessed assisted reproductive technology, two nurses and two gynecologists. Participants were purposely selected and data were analyzed thematically. Results: Culturally, couples who are unable to give birth are considered witches, discriminated against in decision making and are believed to be rejected by the ancestral world when they die. It was found that these sociocultural implications of infertility compelled couples to access assisted reproductive technologies and were faced with social challenges, psychological implications, economic constraints, and medical complications. Conclusions: Children born through assisted reproductive technologies are not accepted by some sections of the society despite the challenges couples encounter in accessing these technologies. Public sensitization should be intensified in Ghana to accept the use of assisted reproductive technologies to limit stigmatization of couples with fertility problems and children born through assisted reproductive technology. Abbreviations: ART: assisted reproduction technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-396
Number of pages22
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Volume57
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • assisted reproductive technology
  • childbirth
  • couples
  • infertility

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