World Health Day 2021 -The Woman and Fertility

Infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive within 1 year. In truth, almost half of the cases of infertility are due to problems with the man, with the woman (who is very often and perhaps almost always vilified for fertility problems) responsible for the difficulty with conceiving in exactly the same proportion. So it’s either both partners are at fault or a cause cannot be found in the remaining cases.

It is unfair that in many African societies, the woman is exclusively blamed for the couple being unable to get pregnant, and left to run around alone seeking a solution. Women are more likely to suffer the social consequences of infertility; they suffer physical and mental abuse, neglect, abandonment, economic deprivation and social ostracism as a result of their perceived infertile status. This prejudice, in addition to the untold psychological burden and suffering it puts the woman through is sadly perpetuated by a patriarchal culture that so often exonerates the man of any wrongdoing in any situation whatsoever and sees him as infallible.

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