Suffering Infertility: The Impact of Infertility on Women's Life Experiences in Two Nigerian Communities

Ulla Larsen, Ibis Reproductive Health
Marida Hollos, Brown University
Bruce Whitehouse, Brown University

The purpose of this paper is to, first, focus on the lives of individual women, represented through their own words as they experience infertility in two Nigerian communities with different institutional settings and meanings attached to infertility. Second, we compare these life experiences to that of their fertile counterparts. In doing this, we distinguish between women who are childless and those with subfertility and compare them to high fertility women. The methodology included ethnographic work, in-depth interviews and quantitative analysis of survey data. The findings indicate that the hardships associated with infertility in its various forms are more severe for childless women compared to women with subfertility and vary across cultural contexts and that different institutional settings influence the meanings and consequences of the condition.

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Presented in Session 179: Reproductive Risks: Complications, Side-Effects and Infertility in Africa