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Opinions Sat, 30 Nov 2019

Childlessness is not uselessness

Most Ghanaians, like in other African or world jurisdictions see children as the ultimate fruits of their marriages, irrespective of other advantages. In that case, getting married for a couple of years without children tend to bread restlessness not only to the couples, but also to their families and to some extent to their extended families.

While some of the causes of childlessness could be attributed to natural factors such as infertility and bareness, on the part of women and low sperm counts, and total impotence on the part of men, women are mostly at the receiving end in terms of blames and insults.

These issues came out when the Ghana News Agency carried out some random interviews to find out how people were perceiving the phenomenon in society. According to some studies, infertile women may experience many psychological consequences such as; social stigma, marital instability and mental health problems including; worrying or crying for longer periods.

The family of Mr and Mrs Ibrahim Mahama has been childless for nine years now and said their marriage has not been a comfortable one.“I never felt better hanging out with my peer group or any of my age-related family members. Almost everyone I knew and meet is a parent, this was uncomfortable for me. We visited many churches and hospitals for many years, but thanks to God and technology today, we are blessed with one child which is enough to seal the problem, the woman said”.

Mr Mahama on the other hand said “It was not an easy life for us ,but it was heavier on my wife due to what people say. We both visited hospitals however none of us was the cause of the infertility. My wife cries and worries a lot, she will rush to anywhere recommend for her to find help”. “I was pushed into polygamy or to have children elsewhere, the temptation was strong, but I stood by my wife till now”, he added.

A different couple, Mr and Mrs Charles Ashong who were married for over six years without children, also shared their story.

Mrs Sandra Ashong said “we hear rumours, but normally don’t face any direct insults. Instead our marriage lacked excitement. The boredom apparently came from not having children. We understood when the right time comes we will have children.

“Our first six years of marriage was a test from God I believe. We tried so many alternatives for years, then finally the right time came naturally, we conceived naturally and today we are blessed with three wonderful children”, she said.

Anita Lamely a 39 year - old trader told the GNA that “I am not happy of being childless, but sometimes in life there are things we cannot change. I am divorced and single due to my infertility; but I still hope to have children one day.

“I am sometimes given names, but I still move on since am not the only infertile women in the society. It is an unbearable situation, so I always pray for a miracle”.

Speaking with Mr. and Mrs Amoo-Gyamfi they said their childlessness was for seven years. Later found out the fault was from the woman, so they agreed to allow the man to have children outside their marriage.

Speaking to the GNA, Dr Clarence Aboagye, a fertility practitioner said “infertility is a fault of each spouse. There are so many unknown infertility causes so I always encourage couples to have fertility check-ups frequently, thus if facing infertility issues instead of making personal judgment.

He said some sperms may not be energetic enough to move and fertilize the womb, or also some sperms may have no head and such sperms, are considered and a waste sperm in the woman’s stomach which will cause infertility”.

“Also with woman, aside the known infertility of the womb, contraceptive medications, might cause changes to their fertile period, which might make assumptions about their fertility”, the doctor added.

Now many couples claim the rate of childlessness is limiting due to the interventions of technology.

Columnist: ghananewsagency.org