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Infertility within the Lebanese population: beliefs and realities

Authors
  • Sahakian, Jean-Paul K. K.1
  • El Helou, Elie1
  • Azoury, Jessica2
  • Salameh, Laure3
  • Abou Jaoude, Imad3
  • Sleilaty, Ghassan1
  • 1 Saint-Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon , Beirut (Lebanon)
  • 2 IVF Center at Mont-Liban Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon , Beirut (Lebanon)
  • 3 IVF Center at Abou Jaoude Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon , Beirut (Lebanon)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Middle East Fertility Society Journal
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Sep 10, 2020
Volume
25
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s43043-020-00037-0
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundInfertility affects almost one in five couples but is still poorly understood by the general public. Although the socio-cultural aspect of infertility has already been covered in some countries, there is currently no study concerning the Lebanese population’s view on this topic. This study aims to examine the knowledge and perception of the Lebanese population regarding infertility. The findings of this study could inform the creation of appropriate awareness campaigns aiming to rectify existing ideas based on myths and Lebanese folklore and establish a scientific understanding of infertility.ResultsSix hundred and nine participants were interviewed, and the responses recorded were statistically significant and correlated with p values < 0.05 with the participants’ personal data, in particular their gender and academic level. Men were twice as likely as women to believe that couple infertility is a valid reason for a divorce or a second marriage. In addition, most men said that they would first consult a gynecologist in the event of couple infertility, which highlights the fact that the general population assumes the cause of infertility is of female origin, even though both sexes are frequently affected. In addition, men are twice as likely as women to refuse to live with an infertile spouse and the most educated respondents tend to be more aware and open to the idea of adopting a child or to use in vitro fertilization.ConclusionThis study is the first to examine the socio-cultural beliefs and habits regarding infertility in Lebanon, with a focus on society’s attribution of infertility to women. More studies are needed to understand how a personal experience of infertility can affect one’s understanding and perceptions regarding infertility. Furthermore, Lebanese physicians should adopt a more multidisciplinary approach when managing couple infertility.

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