Spousal support and perceived womanhood as determinants of somatic complaints among Igbo women with fertility challenge
Keywords:Igbo women, Womanhood, Spousal Support, somatisation
This study tested the influence of spousal support and perceived womanhood, on somatisation among Igbo women with fertility challenges. The participants consisted of 124 women with infertility, drawn from outpatient Gynaecology Departments of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane Enugu, Enugu State and Police General Hospital, Amakohia Owerri, Imo State using purposive sampling technique. Out of the 124 participants, 34 were business women while 90 were civil servants. Their ages ranged from 25-60 years, mean age 36.29, while their marital age ranged from 2-30 years. Four hypotheses were formulated. The study employed four instruments to collect data; Spousal Support Index, Perceived Womanhood Questionnaire, Enugu Somatisation, and Locus of Control scales. Cross sectional survey design was employed for this study and binary logistic regression analysis was used for data analysis. Results showed that lack of spousal support increases somatic complaints among women with fertility challenge, while perceived womanhood does not necessarily increase somatic complaints among Igbo women who are having fertility challenge. This implies that lack of spousal support contributes to high somatic complaints among women with fertility challenge, perceived womanhood does not contribute much to somatisation among women with fertility challenges.