Ways of coping among women with infertility undergoing assisted reproductive technologies in Ghana

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Introduction: infertility remains a public health challenge, especially among women in low- and middle-income countries. Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) provide effective remedies to infertility problems. Despite the use of these technologies in many countries, not much empirical studies have examined the coping strategies infertile women accessing ART adopt. We sought to explore various coping mechanisms used by women with infertility. Methods: a cross-sectional survey was conducted in five selected fertility centers in Accra. Overall, 150 women undergoing ARTs were consecutively sampled. The ways of coping questionnaire was used. Chi-square test and binary logistic regression model were used in testing for association between sociodemographic characteristics of women receiving ART and the use of coping strategies at 5% significance level. Results: the mean age of the respondents was 38.2 ± 6.1 years with 56% having completed tertiary education and 40% had been experiencing infertility for less than five years. All 46.7% of the respondents were in phase two of the treatment process. The most widely used coping strategy was positive reappraisal, with confrontational being the least form of coping strategy used. Age and educational level significantly associated with problem solving and positive reappraisal, respectively. Conclusion: the study concludes that women use various coping strategies whiles seeking ARTs. Women who were advanced in age and had attained higher level of education coped better whiles seeking ARTs. Those who had experienced infertility for a long period were able to cope through avoidance of difficulty situations and accepting the reality of the challenges. It can therefore be recommended that the coping strategy used among different subgroups of individuals that are seeking ARTs needs to be identified and women educated on whiles seeking ARTs.