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AN EXAMINATION OF THE IMPACT OF INFERTILITY ON WOMEN VICTIMISATION IN LAGOS STATE

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AN EXAMINATION OF THE IMPACT OF INFERTILITY ON WOMEN VICTIMISATION IN LAGOS STATE


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Infertility is defined as the failure to achieve conception after twelve months of consistent unprotected sexual intercourse (Afsaneh, Zahra, & Fatemeh, 2016). According to Gülgün, Kevser, and Gümrah (2018), the nature of the classification might fall into either main or secondary categories. Primary infertility refers to the inability of a couple to conceive a child, while secondary infertility pertains to the challenges faced in conceiving after having previously had a successful pregnancy, brought it to term, or experienced a miscarriage. One significant challenge associated with infertility is the lack of recognition it receives as a public health concern. The issue of unfulfilled reproductive demands among women is sometimes stigmatised, particularly within the realm of private care where market forces play a significant role. This renders them susceptible to sexual assault by individuals who are assumed to be responsible for their well-being. They are subjected to various rituals and may become targets of ritualistic homicides (Luk & Loke, 2015). Additionally, they are prone to extortion, administration of specific drugs and injections that could potentially harm their reproductive health, and long-term consequences on overall bodily functions associated with the use of these medications (Nwosu & Onwe, 2015). Developing countries, such as Nigeria, face numerous obstacles in providing accessible and efficient biomedical infertility care. In certain communities, reproductive health indicators are notably inadequate, primarily due to pressing public health concerns like maternal mortality. Consequently, the demand for infertility treatment remains substantial and unmet (Ozturk, 2020). Irrespective of the medical aetiology of infertility, women experience psychological anguish and distress, societal discrimination, exclusion, and often encounter significant financial hardship. According to Sahin, Ilcioglu, and Unsal (2018), women are mostly held responsible for reproductive difficulties, and in many societies, infertility is considered a valid reason for divorce. Consequently, women may face the consequences of losing their means of sustenance and significant social connections. Another issue to consider is the determination of treatment alternatives for women who have unmet fertility needs, including the question of what factors and individuals are involved in this decision-making process. In the context of traditional African civilizations, infertility is often seen as a curse, leading to considerable pain that may have wide-ranging implications for couples. This load of suffering is generally borne mostly by women [Rutstein & Shah, 2021]. A previous investigation conducted in the same location as the current research, focusing on the Ekiti community in southwest Nigeria, documented the marginalisation of women upon their demise. Specifically, it was observed that deceased women were seen as social outcasts and interred on the outskirts of the town with those afflicted with mental illness. In the Middle East, outside the confines of African culture, the social standing, honour, and self-worth of women are contingent upon their reproductive capabilities. The experience of infertility often entails hidden grief, which is often accompanied by diminished self-assurance, depressive symptoms, sexual difficulties, feelings of shame or guilt, and impaired interpersonal contact with both friends and family members (Aduloju et al., 2015). Research conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa has provided evidence of the prevalence of psychological stresses as a frequent outcome of infertility. The psychological discomfort often encountered by women or couples facing infertility stems from their failure to fulfil their intended social position. Therefore, the researcher sought to examine  the impact of infertility on women victimisation in Lagos state.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Despite the notable increase in population growth rate throughout Africa, infertility continues to persist as a significant challenge within the realm of reproductive health. The prevalence of the condition is substantial, and its underlying pathology often has a significant impact on the physical well-being of women. The global population is significantly impacted by infertility, which is seen as a substantial public health concern. Studies conducted in underdeveloped nations have shown that around 25% of women experience infertility, with a considerable body of research highlighting the psychological and societal consequences associated with this condition (Rutstein & Shah, 2021). The victimisation experienced by infertile women encompasses several forms of abuse, including physical, psychological, and sexual. Previous research conducted by Rutstein and Shah (2021) has provided evidence indicating that a range of 1.8% to 61.8% of women who are experiencing infertility have reported various forms of victimisation. Infertility often emerges as a substantial stressor, resulting in abrupt alterations in women's familial and societal connections. In some societal contexts, there exists a perception that women have responsibility for infertility, with various criteria such as educational attainment, work position, autonomy, and social standing seeming to influence the likelihood of these women being subjected to victimisation. Hence,the study examine the impact of infertility on women victimisation in Lagos state.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad obective of the study is to examine the impact of infertility on women victimization in Lagos state. The specific objectives is as follows

i.          Determine the prevalence of infertility among women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State.

ii.        Assess the factors associated with infertility among women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State.

iii.      Examine the impact of infertility on women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State.

iv.      Analyze the extent infertility contributes to social victimization of women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State.

1.4       Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

i.          What is the prevalence of infertility among women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State?

ii.        What are the factors associated with infertility among women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State?

iii.      What is the impact of infertility on women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State?

iv.      What is the extent at which  infertility contributes to social victimization of women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State?

1.5       Significance of the study

The findings of the study is significant to the Nigerian populace as it will reveal the extent to which women are been victimized due to their inability to bear a child. When in most cases the abusers are not aware that the problem might not be from the women but rather the man, but because our society feels that men are not the issue they rather victimize the women in several forms.

The findings of the study is significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.


1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on the impact of infertility on women victimization in Lagos state. Hence, the study will determine the prevalence of infertility among women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State, assess the factors associated with infertility among women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State, examine the impact of infertility on women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State and analyze the extent infertility contributes to social victimization of women attending Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State. Hence, the study is delimited to Nordica Fertility Centre Surulere, Lagos State.

1.7       Limitations of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8       Definition of terms

Infertility: not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex.

Victimization:  the action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment.



This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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