THE PREDISPOSING FACTORS, CONSEQUENCES AND COPING STRATEGIES OF INFERTILITY IN MALES AND FEMALES IN KISUMU DISTRICT, KENYA

  • Antony Wando Odek
  • Jamin Masinde Senior Lecturer of Sociology, Head of Department of Sociology and Psychology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Eldoret-Kenya
  • Omar Egesah Senior Lecturer of Anthropology and Human Ecology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Eldoret-Kenya

Abstract

Infertility is a major problem that affects families in Kenya. In Kisumu district, high prevalence rate of infertility and the desire to depart from over-emphasis on fertility studies are the primary reasons for the study. The study aimed at establishing the level of knowledge on the meaning of infertility and assessing the socio-cultural beliefs and practices that predispose people to infertility. In addition, the research focused on the consequences of infertility besides examining the coping strategies used by persons suffering from infertility. A descriptive research was used to describe characteristics of events and experiences of couples faced with the consequences of infertility. Thereafter, the data was organized, tabulated, interpreted and described. Similarly, the study relied on a mixed method design which involves intergrating both qualitative and quantitative techniques. In particular, the study employed the use of semi-structured questionnaires to gather information from 200 respondents. Six Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) comprising of 10-12 individuals were conducted. Admittedly, the study revealed that although people in Kisumu district accord great significance to childbearing, they have low level of knowledge on the meaning of infertility, predisposing factors and appropriate treatment options. Infertile couples and individuals suffered socially, psychologically and economically. For instance, high cost of treatment was reported as a major economic challenge, and failure to raise huge amounts of money for diagnosis and treatment fueled adoption of medically unproven coping strategies. Socially, infertility poses serious threat to marital stability among childless couples. Issues of social isolation and stigmatization were also reported by the respondents as common phenomena. Few individuals especially who recognized infertility as a biological disorder sought medical treatment in health centres while majority relied on traditonal interventions. Establishment of infertility policy and improvement in diagnosis, treatment, education, counselling and foster care services are recommended in addressing consequences of childbearing problems in Kisumu district. The study concludes that several factors predispose couples to infertility and that infertility is nolonger an urban phenomenon, nor is it confined to women only.

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Published
2014-09-10
How to Cite
Odek, A. W., Masinde, J., & Egesah, O. (2014). THE PREDISPOSING FACTORS, CONSEQUENCES AND COPING STRATEGIES OF INFERTILITY IN MALES AND FEMALES IN KISUMU DISTRICT, KENYA. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2014.v10n10p%p