Care seeking behaviour of infertile couples attending a government infertility clinic in Delhi
Keywords:Care seeking, Infertility, Behavior of infertile couples, Infertility management, Primary infertility, Secondary infertility
Background: Childbearing is the reproductive right of every infertile couple. Infertility brings with it, multi-dimensional implications like social, economic and psychological. Care seeking by infertile couples is poorly understood as infertility services are deficient at grass-root level. We aimed to examine treatment seeking behaviour among infertile couples.
Methods: A descriptive study was carried from 15 October 2019 to 15 March 2020. Primary data was collected by interviewing 196 married couples seeking care from an infertility clinic in Delhi. Data was tabulated and analyzed using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 23.
Results: Majority of the couples had primary infertility (73%). In 47% of the couples, care seeking was advised by the household members. Most of the couples (82%) took decision to seek care themselves. Treatment was initiated within 3 years of marriage in 45% of couples. For first consultation, infertility treatment was sought from private sector (73%), public sector (16%) and informal sector (11%). Among public sector consultations, Government Medical College was preferred by 44% of couples while in private sector, 80% of them preferred private clinics. Infertility care was sought in 79% of couples from allopathic specialists. Mean duration of treatment and visits per consultation was 5 months and 10 visits respectively. Main source of information for treatment were friends and close relatives. Females (98%) faced more pressure from family to seek treatment than the males (72%).
Conclusions: Main source of infertility care was from private sector. Females faced more pressure to seek treatment. Services in the public sector needs to be developed and strengthened to make infertility care accessible, equitable and affordable.
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