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Infertility: Causes, diagnosis, risks, and treatments



This study attempts to find out the association between the experience of infertility and marital dissolution the theories used in this study are phenomenology, social learning theory and symbolic internationalism. The method employed in the study is qualitative research methods which is the survey method. By this method quantitative data was generated through the use of a structured questionnaire distributed among the respondents.  Findings from this study based on infertility and stigmatization corroborates the work of Ali and Sami (2006) were about 65% had reported being isolated because of no children, 25.8% had been abused verbally for the same reason and 9.3% had been abused physically because of the same reason. Findings based on infertility and frequency of quarrels among couples were consistent with the work of Idowu, (2003) were about 23% of spouses reported having fought physically with their spouses. Furthermore, findings also reveal the fact that infertility in relation to willingness to quit marriage were consistent with the work of Vanbalen, F. and Bos, H. M. W et al (2009) were about 38.8% do not have children and have not thought of leaving their marriage while 14.8% had children and still thought of leaving their marriage. Findings further revealed that infertility in relation to quality of relationship with spousal family was in agreement with the worked of Pedro A. (2015) and Bliss, C. (1999). This study therefore concludes that there is an association between the independent and all the dependent variables. This study therefore recommends that the mass media should sensitize the public on the unbecoming relationship being given to the infertile woman so that there can be a correction. Also, the religious institutions should be the harbinger or at the forefront of correcting ill treatment to the infertile woman whom study has shown is being abused physically, verbally and also isolated. 




In this piece, the consequences of childlessness in relation to divorce and separation would be highlighted which cuts across racial and geographical boundaries. Some of these consequences include but not limited to frequencies of quarrels with member of spousal family, stigmatization and possible conflict between couples.

Stigmatization is a product of the circumstances and experiences that in most part of the world children were perceived as sustenance of the family lineage and inheritances especially in societies that are patrilineal in nature. Life associated with absence of children was perceived not worth living as there would be nobody to acquire the properties of the deceased Tabong and Adongo, (2013); Mulder, M.B., (1999); Hollos, M., et al (2007). Marital discord is synonymous with couples with infertility issues. This is profound especially with the couples where the infertility problems are more in women than we have in men. Sultan, (2010) Sexual intercourse often becomes a level playing field where this is played out. According to Richard, S.E., (2010) “Forty percent of infertile women suffer from sexual problem that cause them distress compared with 25% of the control group of healthy women”. Couples with fertility issues are subject to scrutiny, pressure from friends, families and other social group. Sultan, (2010 ); James, S.D., (2011 ); W.H.O., (2010).

Effect of conflict among couples often leads to instability and reproduction problems. Often times revelation of concealed pre-marital history is an issue that also lead to conflict. Omoregbe, S.K., (2010); Chikwuka, C.O., (2013); Wani, (2011).


Available statistics show that divorce is more likely by three times for couples who experience infertility issues Kjaer, (2011). Ending a relationship that is childless could be beneficial rather than be in one that reminds you of childlessness (Day , J., 2016 ).This is an aberration that western societies have evolved ways of dealing with although the problem cannot be eroded entirely. Infertility comes from social factors such as loose sexual habits ; contact with STDs  CDC, (2016 ) genetic ; people with dysfunctional system that inhibits reproduction Shulman, L., (2016 ).From contemporary times the practice of safe sex and birth control have affected fertility Harting et al., (1969); Morrison, (1965); Shepherd, (1964).  There are also environmental factors that have affected reproduction. Exposure to certain chemicals, reactions to particular drugs, performance enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids Firth, S., (2014). Of profound dimension are the emotional values which are eroded due to infertility leading to isolation and self worthlessness Wirthberg et al, (2007).  Among the aims of this study was to obtain a deeper knowledge and broader insight into the causes and long term effects of infertility.

Stigmatization faced by woman in African countries is embedded with gory details of inhuman treatment meted out to these women. They are deprived, looked down upon , they become objects of pity and ridicule . These are some of the reasons why researchers are prying into the plight of the infertile woman.

Some of the reasons outlined above often times lead to withdrawal by the woman and most times lead to marital discord Hendrick and Hendrick, (1992).

Of profound magnitude is the issue of emotional distress suffered by couples from infertility which results in admitting past mistakes as possible cause of the problem. They become despondent, feelings of loss set in, reminiscent of constant grief. They are desperate in their anticipation for a child and their sense of personal worth is affected. They are not accorded rights to express themselves freely and they are treated as outcasts and unfit people Diamond et al., (1999),

Daniluk, (2001); Gibson & Myers, (2002); Peterson, Newton, & Rosen, (2003), Infertility also has political consequences especially as most Governments has shown preference in reduction of population growth .This has the effect of inhibiting policies that indirectly favours large number of families. The issue of birth control has made large number of families unpopular in modern times which has affected family fertility  Balen, (2000).

Another fertility problem is the reluctance of the men to take to fertility treatment as the problem is viewed majorly as a woman’s issue in Africa. This has the consequences of prolonging the treatment and wasting the fertile years of the woman.

There is a yawning gap in the existing literature about the full impact of infertility on individuals and couples. Apart from the social and cultural consequences, the ethical and moral perspectives would be examined in this expose’


1.3.1    Is there a relationship between the experience of infertility and stigmatization?

1.3.2    Is there a relationship between the experience of infertility and frequency of quarrels among couples?

1.3.3    Is there a relationship between the experience of infertility and quality of relationship with members of spousal family?

1.3.4    Is there a relationship between the role of infertility and willingness to quit marriage?


1.4.1    To find out the association between the experience of infertility and stigmatization.

1.4.2    To find out the association between the experience of infertility and frequency of quarrels.

1.4.3    To find out the association between the experience of infertility and quality of relationship with spousal family.



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Account Name: Emmanuel Idorenyin Samuel.