Infertility in Ghana: The Pains Of A Womb I Never Wish Anyone

Infertility in Ghana: The Pains Of A Womb I Never Wish Anyone

By Jessica Ahedor

Nurse Eugenia Beatson, m. Ramatu Zango, c. Sekinata Sakande, 7, m.o., 7.7 kg.

Infertility cases in Ghana are shooting up due to the delay in marriages as result of Career driven education, lifestyle, and improper treatment of infections according to DR Kweku Asah-Opoku, the Consultant Obstetricians Gynecologist at one of Ghana’s premier Hospital, Kor-lebu Teaching Hospital.

Consultant Obstetricians Gynecologist at the Kor-lebu  Dr kweku Asah-opoku has admonished the African society to rather encourage couples experiencing infertility to seek for medical care than tagging them as witches. According to him infertility is with us and putting pressure on couples at the time they needed babies will only aggravate the situation. He explained, factors that contribute to infertility in recent times, pointing female education or career driven goals as a major factor since most women are exceeding their fertile periods of early 20s before marrying.

Other factors include improper treatment of infections, sexually transmitted diseases, lifestyle, stress and exposure to excessive heat that reduce the quality of sperm produce in men. He bemoaned the trend of tagging only women as being infertile.

Speaking to health Journalist Jessica Ahedor, he maintained, the African Society must begin to have a rethink about its norms that has seen some women go through frustration, humiliations and the psychological trauma due to infertility.  The Consultant Obstetricians Gynecologist at in Accra, was accessing a follow up case of one Juliet quaye {not real name for security reasons}  who has been married for 25 years without a child and had suffered similar fate from family members. He advised the family and the general public to rather help such people to seek medical assistance than piling pressure that sometimes even leads to suicide. Infertility is inability to conceive children despite having carefully timed unprotected sex for a year. Experts say old age, endometriosis, abnormal cervical mucus, unhealthy body weight, tubal issues uterine abnormalities among other factors could cause infertility.

However in the African society, infertility in marriages is considered a course or a form of punishment of one’s past lifestyle or witchcraft. Society has stayed clue to this norm which over the years remained one of the contributive factors to divorce in some cases. It is estimated that, in Ghana, one out of every ten couples experience infertility. Madam Juliet Quaye is a midwife that works with one of Ghana’s premier hospitals for 18 years. However she’s been married for 25 years without a child.

She recounted how fulfilled she felt being married to her childhood crush and a friend hoping things could turn out as planned to have four children. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as plan after several options to have a baby of their own has failed. As a midwife who plays a very pivotal role in the life of her fellow women, to conceive and give birth she says ‘’It is sometimes painful and demeaning to see and help deliver my fellows with babies and hear them cry but that joy of a mother swayed me. I am now 60 years old she recounted’’. She suffered all forms of humiliations and to its zenith; she was kicked out of her matrimonial home. Her bitter experience as result of Infertility knows no boundaries as both family and the community ridiculed her at every little chance. Saying ‘’the pain of an empty womb in the midst of babies is something I never wish any woman.’’

But according to Dr Asah-Opoku infertility can be tackle head on if reported early. He lamented the attitude of running to churches, mosques traditionalists and wasting time before seeking medical attention. He added checks at the hospitals family planning unit revealed about 30 percent of men that report at the facility annually have infertility as compare to 40 to 50 infertility cases in women. The trend is seeing an upward trajectory and it must be curbed by all hands on deck education and increased awareness.

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