Infertility in Marriage, Whose Fault is it? – Designed.LIFE

In medical school, during our obstetrics and gynecology posting, we were taught the World Health Organization definition of infertility;

“The inability of a COUPLE to conceive after a year of regular, adequate, unprotected sexual intercourse”.

Emphasis was laid on the word couple as it has been discovered that infertility is not often because of just one partner. In fact, it is 30% woman’s factor, 30% man’s factor, 30% both of them and 10% unknown.
In Africa, especially Nigeria, it is normal for the woman to bear the brunt of being ‘infertile’ while the man is seen as the victim who can never be responsible for the childless state of the marriage.

Also, extended family members are very eager to use the term ‘infertile’ once some months pass and the wife is not showing signs of being pregnant. This is especially true of the husband’s family, especially his mother. This puts unnecessary pressure and stress on the marriage and on the wife which can even delay conception the more. A woman who is stressed, under pressure, anxious or fearful disturbs her hormonal balance and can further delay

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Also, extended family members are very eager to use the term ‘infertile’ once some months pass and the wife is not showing signs of being pregnant. This is especially true of the husband’s family, especially his mother. This puts unnecessary pressure and stress on the marriage and on the wife which can even delay conception the more. A woman who is stressed, under pressure, anxious or fearful disturbs her hormonal balance and can further delay childbearing.

 

So, it is important for her to be at ease as much as possible.

Things are made much easy when the cause of infertility can be traced to either husband or wife or both of them. The treatment options, if any, can be commenced on time. It is a different ball game entirely when the cause of infertility is unknown. The analysis of the man’s seminal fluid came out satisfactory, he is able to have sex adequately and he does not have problems with ejaculation.

The woman’s vagina and cervix are not hostile to his sperm, her womb (uterus) is free of fibroids, inflammation, nd infections, her tubes are patent and her ovaries are functioning properly.
Both of them are fine.

It is at this point many resort to non-medical options which may or may not bring solutions. Some may even worsen things as the previously fit man/woman is suddenly unfit because of things they were told to use or do.
For these couples, there are options available:
1.  Adoption
2. Assisted Reproduction Techniques
3. Surrogate mothers, sperm donors.

Of course, there are cultural and/or religious reasons why people would not opt for any of these options. But people have, and they are happier for it. Besides, nobody needs to know how the couple went about it. All that becomes public notice is, “we were once without child but now we are”.

Infertility should not be the end of life or any marriage.

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It is unfair to hastily label the woman as the cause of childlessness. The husband could be at fault and it could be both of them. It could even be neither of them. No couple should be pressurized by relatives about conceiving early in their marriage. Research has shown that 60% of couples get pregnant within 6months of marriage, 80-85% within a year, 90% within 2 years and some 10-15% never get pregnant. Every couple differs from the next.

 

Infertility in Marriage, Whose Fault is it? – Designed.LIFE

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