OBJECTIVE: To determine the factors affecting the health-seeking behavior of couples with secondary infertility in Karachi. DESIGN: A descriptive case series.
PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: The data was collected from women attending infertility clinics in five tertiary care hospitals in Karachi from March to June 2003. PATIENTS AND METHODS: All currently married women, between the age of 15-35 years, with at least one previous conception, irrespective of outcome, attending an infertility clinic and consenting to participate in the study, were included. Women with corrective surgery on vagina and uterus, and cases of primary infertility, were excluded. Multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association of various factors, affecting the health-seeking behavior, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05 for the covariates and the interaction terms between various factors.
RESULTS: The women consulted multiple health care providers for treatment of secondary infertility. The main reasons for seeking treatment were couple s wish (54.2%), family pressure (22.6%) and want of a son by husbands or in-laws (20.4%). The most commonly sought providers were physicians (74.7%), Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA, 39.5%), Spiritual healers (26%), Hakeems (23%) and Homeopaths (17.2%). Most of the women who consulted non-physicians were illiterate (69.4%) as compared to those who consulted a physician (37.8%, p-value = 0.00). The non-physicians were more commonly consulted by women belonging to low socioeconomic group. The posttreatment complications were more common among women who consulted non-physicians.
CONCLUSION: Pressure from husbands and in-laws compels women for consulting multiple providers. Health seeking behavior for infertility is affected by the literacy and socioeconomic status of the women.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tazeen_ali/26/