Beliefs about children and the psychosocial implications of infertility on individuals seeking assisted fertilization in Ghana

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Infertility presents challenges to individuals and couples, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to document beliefs about childbearing/children and the psychosocial implications of infertility in individuals seeking assisted fertilization in the Ghanaian context. The study had an exploratory descriptive qualitative design. Six males and 12 females were recruited purposefully from five private fertility centres in the Greater Accra Region. Face-to-face interviews were performed. In Ghanaian society, couples and individuals with infertility who are seeking assisted fertilization consider having biological children to be important. The quest to have children was broadly centred on the associated benefits of being a parent, including societal recognition, the role of family inheritance, and support. The inability of participants to have biological children was found to have a negative effect on their psychological and social well-being. Anxiety, worry, hopelessness, stigma and suicidal ideations were some of the effects identified. It is recommended that those seeking assisted fertilization should be supported through counselling to minimize the potential negative effects of childlessness.