SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
MANAGING INFERTILITY AMONG WOMEN IN RURAL PARTS OF KISUMU
JAJ ALVINE OTIENO
A RESEARCH PROPOSAL SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR DEGREE IN SOCIAL STUDIES (SOCIOLOGY)
Table of Content
List of Figures
Figure 1Kisumu District 2006-2008 infertility record
Figure 2Prevalence of infertility
InfertilityInability to procreate within a year
SterilityInability to produce a child
FecundityIs the capacity/ability/potentiality to produce a live child Primary infertilitydenotes infertility of women who have never conceived
Secondary infertilitydenotes infertility of women who have conceived at least once
Ectopic PregnancyIs a pregnancy in which the implantation of the embryo occurs outside the uterine cavity
HypofertilitySignifies the biological inability to bear children
Child DeficitOccurs when the ideal numbers of births outnumbers the actual number of births for the individual who have been exposed to sexual intercourse for years (5 years)
“norro” The local term for gonorrhea
STIs Sexually Transmitted Infections
HIV/AIDSHumino Deficiency Syndrome/Arquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
WHO World Health Organization
PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
IVF In vitro fertilization
ICSIIntracytoplasmic sperm injection
SPSSStatistical Package for the Social Sciences
1.1Background to the study
This chapter presents an overview of global trends of infertility and also reveals the community views on the causes, effects and treatment of infertility. The chapter covers statement of the problems, objectives, and hypothesis as well as research questions.
Anthropological studies categorize causes of infertility into two broad groupings: traditional and naturalistic (Gerrits, 1997). The former may be classified into personalistic (human) or mystic causes (Janzen, 1981; Gerrits, 1997). Personalistic causes include the inability to procreate as a result of witchcraft and other spiritual problems. Naturalistic infertility involves close association between modern or biomedical causes and traditional causes. Other naturalistic causes include infection of uterus, ovary and “norro”, the local term for gonorrhea (Gerrits, 1997).
Lukse and Vacc (1999) posit that the term “barren” conveys the trying, potent emotional toll that failure to produce children exerts on a couple. Worldwide, between 8 and 12 percent of couples suffer from infertility or inability to conceive a child at some point during their reproductive lives (Reproductive Health Outlook, 1999). Despite that, in some non-Western societies, especially those in the “infertility belt” of Central and Southern Africa, rates of infection-induced infertility may be quite high, affecting as many as one third of all couples attempting to conceive (Collet et al, 1988; Larsen 1994; Ericksen and Brunette, 1996). However, the new reproductive health facilities found in the West are unavailable in Africa (Inhorn, 1994a). Sundby (2001) observes that where reproductive health facilities are available, modern health care services may be of poor quality in many developing countries. Hence, it is not surprising that the ‘infertile’ often turn to traditional remedies and healers (Inhorn, 1994b).
Many studies on reproduction reveal that women worldwide bear the major burden of infertility (Abbey, Andrews, and Halman, 1991; Greil, Leitko, and Poter, 1988; Inhorn and Van Balen 2001; Stanton et al. 1991; Van Balen and Trimbos-Kemper 1993). Inhorn and Van Balen (2001) add that infertility has gendered social consequences, which are more grave in non-Western settings than in the Western World. Despite this, policy makers in developing countries are often obsessed with curbing population growth rates, ignoring the subpopulations suffering because of...