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Self-reported fertility impairments and help-seeking strategies among young women in Malawi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/08/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Global Public Health
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date11/08/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper analyses wave 4 the Tsogolo la Thanzi survey of n = 1349 Malawian women aged 16–26 to explore the prevalence and predictors of self-reported fertility impairments (difficulties conceiving and/or difficulties carrying a pregnancy to term) and help-seeking strategies. Using descriptive statistics, logistic regression models, and graphic displays, the correlates of self-reporting an impairment and patterns of help-seeking strategies are examined. Nearly 13% (n = 117) of those who had ever tried to conceive reported experiencing a fertility impairment. Age was positively associated with reporting an impairment, while there was a negative association with education and with parity. Of women who reported an impairment, 85.5% sought help. Visiting a hospital or clinic was the most common response, followed closely by going to a traditional healer. Around one-quarter employed multiple help-seeking strategies, highlighting the need for various help-seeking behaviours to be viewed in tandem rather than in isolation.