Nav: Home

Research shows infertility tied to relationship disruption in Ghana

March 07, 2017

Infertility is taking its toll on relationships in Ghana.

New research shows Ghanaian women who have problems conceiving are more likely to experience relationship breakdown.

The first long-term study of its kind, carried out by Dr Jasmine Fledderjohann, of Lancaster University, focused on information from 1,364 women.

It was based on data collected by the Population Council of New York and the University of Cape Coast in six communities in Ghana over a period of six years.

The study showed:
    * Self-identified infertility is strongly linked to an increased risk of relationship disruption

    * Married women with infertility have significantly lower odds of experiencing disruption in their relationships than infertile women who are in non-marital relationships

    * Women in polygynous relationships are more vulnerable than monogamously married women, and likely to experience relationship instability, separation or divorce

The report, "Difficulties Conceiving and Relationship Stability in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ghana" is published in the European Journal of Population.

Little is known about the association between infertility and relationship instability in Sub-Saharan Africa. Small-scale qualitative studies, including previous work by Dr. Fledderjohann, have shown that women who identify themselves as infertile report themselves to be at greater risk of marital discord and disruption.

However, whether this is an accurate perception based on divorce statistics has previously been unclear. This study provides empirical support for the claim that infertility is tied to relationship disruption.

Additionally, there has been very limited evidence on non-marital relationships. This is important not only because of the increase in non-marital childbearing in Ghana in recent years, but also because if an unmarried couple tries to conceive but cannot, the relationship may end before it can progress to marriage.

Excluding unmarried women from studies of infertility may therefore be ignoring the most vulnerable group when it comes to relationship breakdown--a hypothesis borne out by the data.

Dr Fledderjohann said: "The study clearly shows what has long been suspected by women themselves - that difficulties conceiving may contribute to an increased risk of relationship disruption. This is true for both married and unmarried women.

"Interestingly, this was only true when looking at women's own assessments of their infertility; biomedical measures didn't have the same association with breaking up. When it comes to infertility and relationship stability, perceptions matter."

She explained the study provided much-needed empirical evidence on the link between infertility and risk of relationship disruption.

Lancaster University

Related Relationships Articles:

Better quality relationships associated with reduced dementia risk
Positive social support from adult children is associated with reduced risk of developing dementia, according to a new research published today.
Contraception influences sexual desire in committed relationships
How often women in heterosexual couples desire sex depends on how committed the relationship is and what type of birth control the woman uses.
Health determined by social relationships at work
Recent research shows higher social identification with one's team or organization is associated with better health and lower stress.
Financial relationships between biomedical companies and organizations
Sixty-three percent of organizations that published clinical practice guidelines on the National Guideline Clearinghouse website in 2012 reported receiving funds from biomedical companies, but these relationships were seldom disclosed in the guidelines, according to a new study published by Henry Stelfox and colleagues from the University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, in PLOS Medicine.
Money really does matter in relationships
Our romantic choices are not just based on feelings and emotions, but how rich we feel compared to others, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found.
Does frequent sex lead to better relationships? Depends on how you ask
Newlywed couples who have a lot of sex don't report being any more satisfied with their relationships than those who have sex less often, but their automatic behavioral responses tell a different story, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Concussion can alter parent-child relationships
A study published in the Journal of Neuropsychology, reveals the adverse effects of mild traumatic brain injury on the quality parent-child relationships.
Emotionally supportive relationships linked to lower testosterone
Science and folklore alike have long suggested that high levels of testosterone can facilitate the sorts of attitudes and behavior that make for, well, a less than ideal male parent.
Memory is greater threat to romantic relationships than Facebook
A new study was designed to test whether contacts in a person's Facebook friends list who are romantically desirable are more or less of a threat to an existing relationship than are potential partners a person can recall from memory. threatened current committed relationships, as reported in an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
How does prison time affect relationships?
A new study highlights the complicated spillover effects of incarceration on the quality of relationships.

Related Relationships Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Don't Fear Math
Why do many of us hate, even fear math? Why are we convinced we're bad at it? This hour, TED speakers explore the myths we tell ourselves and how changing our approach can unlock the beauty of math. Guests include budgeting specialist Phylecia Jones, mathematician and educator Dan Finkel, math teacher Eddie Woo, educator Masha Gershman, and radio personality and eternal math nerd Adam Spencer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#517 Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic
Our modern lives run on plastic. It's in the computers and phones we use. It's in our clothing, it wraps our food. It surrounds us every day, and when we throw it out, it's devastating for the environment. This week we air a live show we recorded at the 2019 Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C., where Bethany Brookshire sat down with three plastics researchers - Christina Simkanin, Chelsea Rochman, and Jennifer Provencher - and a live audience to discuss plastics in our oceans. Where they are, where they are going, and what they carry with them. Related links:...