Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


The relationship between stigmatisation and quality of life in Ghanaian women and men with fertility problems: mediating role of coping strategies

F.B. Van Rooij 1, H.M.W. Bos 1, T. Gerrits 2, R.A. Hiadzi 3, E.S. Donkor 4

1 Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 15780, 1001 NG, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
2 Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 15509, 1001 NA Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
3 Department of Sociology, University of Ghana, PO.Box LG 65,Legon, Ghana;
4 School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Health and Allied Sciences, PMB 31 Ho, Volta Region, Ghana.


coping, infertility, fertility, Ghana, stigma, quality of life

Published online: Jan 08 2021


Introduction: Fertility problems may have a devastating impact on the people involved. Specifically, in highly pronatalist settings like Ghana, the personal and social consequences are high. This study focused on the relationship between stigmatisation because of fertility problems and quality of life among Ghanaian women and men, and the possible mediating role of coping strategies.
Methods: Participants (38 women, 11 men) were recruited with the help of a patient organisation and a hospital in Accra. Standardised instruments were used to measure the stigmatisation of having fertility problems, fertility quality of life and coping with fertility problems. Partial Pearson r correlations were conducted, followed by bootstrapped mediation analyses (PROCESS macro).
Results: Stigmatisation was negatively correlated with fertility quality of life, and fertility quality of life was negatively correlated with active-avoidance coping. Active avoidance coping partially mediated the relationship between being stigmatised because of fertility problems and fertility quality of life.
Conclusion: Professionals working with people with fertility problems should pay more attention to how people are coping with experiences of stigmatisation.