Demographic and socio-economic factors associated with infertility among married women in Zambia

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Chitanda, Rhodwell
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The University of Zambia
Infertility is becoming a major public health concern because it affects one’s mental well-being, disrupts social bonding, lowers economic productivity for all those affected and erodes self-confidence (Dick et al., 2003). Despite the conspicuous prominence of many issues affecting women in the global development agenda, primary infertility has not been prioritized by gender activists. It is still covered by a social veil and therefore little is known about the critical demographic and socio-economic factors associated with it. Menning (1980) asserted that infertile women are invisible in society and they do not know how to contact each other. This demonstrates that even though infertile married women have not come out in the open to seek support, they carry the burden of social stigma and sometimes economic marginalization. The study investigated demographic and socio-economic factors associated with infertility of married women in Zambia. This study analyzed raw data from four Zambia Demographic Health Surveys (ZDHS) of 1992, 1996, 2001-2 and 2007 provided by MEASURE DHS. Findings indicate that infertility prevalence in Zambia declined from 2.22% in 1992 to 1.31% in 2007. Further, the study established that age, and type of residence (rural or urban) are closely associated with infertility (P<0.05). Women aged 25-29 are more likely to report failure to conceive compared to those in other age groups (P<0.05). Thus women in their prime reproductive age and have primary or no education are more likely to report higher infertility than their counterparts in different age groups. The study further found out that a woman’s HIV status is not associated with infertility (P>0.05) unless the woman was from an urban area (P<0.05). Results further show that infertility is not associated with gender-based violence (P>0.05). Based on these results, it is recommended that more research on the causes and effects of primary infertility should be conducted.
Fertility,Human , Birth Rate. , Women--Zambia--History--Cross-cultural studies. , Infertility,female--Zambia