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: 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 from Brightsurf:

Gorilla relationships limited in large groups
Mountain gorillas that live in oversized groups may have to limit the number of strong social relationships they form, new research suggests.

Electronic surveillance in couple relationships
Impaired intimacy, satisfaction, and infidelity in a romantic relationship can fuel Interpersonal Electronic Surveillance (IES).

'Feeling obligated' can impact relationships during social distancing
In a time where many are practicing 'social distancing' from the outside world, people are relying on their immediate social circles more than usual.

We can make predictions about relationships - but is this necessary?
'Predictions as to the longevity of a relationship are definitely possible,' says Dr Christine Finn from the University of Jena.

Disruptions of salesperson-customer relationships. Is that always bad?
Implications from sales relationship disruptions are intricate and can be revitalizing.

Do open relationships really work?
Open relationships typically describe couples in which the partners have agreed on sexual activity with someone other than their primary romantic partner, while maintaining the couple bond.

The 7 types of sugar daddy relationships
University of Colorado Denver researcher looks inside 48 sugar daddy relationships to better understand the different types of dynamics, break down the typical stereotype(s) and better understand how these relationships work in the United States.

Positive relationships boost self-esteem, and vice versa
Does having close friends boost your self-esteem, or does having high self-esteem influence the quality of your friendships?

Strong family relationships may help with asthma outcomes for children
Positive family relationships might help youth to maintain good asthma management behaviors even in the face of difficult neighborhood conditions, according to a new Northwestern University study.

In romantic relationships, people do indeed have a 'type'
Researchers at the University of Toronto show that people do indeed have a 'type' when it comes to dating, and that despite best intentions to date outside that type -- for example, after a bad relationship -- some will gravitate to similar partners.

Read More: Relationships News and Relationships Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to