Pregnancy and childbirth are some of our Maker’s greatest wonders in a woman. Children are also expression of the love between couples.
They enrich our lives and provide a lifetime of blessing, honour, love, joy and a lineage to sustain humanity.
They create a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. Children are therefore, seen as the most precious of possessions. They are status symbols and most Ghanaian adults yearn to have children.
Unfortunately, global studies show about 10 per cent of all women can never have children no matter how badly they want to.
Causes of infertility
When couples in their reproductive years fail to produce a child after one year of adequate (at least twice a week), uninterrupted and unprotected sexual intercourse, then one of them or both may have a problem.
Studies show that when couples have problems with pregnancy, there is 40 per cent the fault of the man, 40 per cent the fault of the woman, with the 20 per cent shared between them.
In men, the causes of sterility include ejaculatory disorders, inability to produce sperms, low sperm count and abnormal or defective sperms that may die before they reach the egg.
Problems in women include inability to produce healthy ovaries, the blockage of the fallopian tubes, incomplete abortion, fibroid and defective uterus rejecting fertilised eggs.
Problems of infertility
In Ghana, children are the focus of marriage. A marriage without children is seen as a bad omen and tragically it is the woman who suffers from situations that may be beyond her control.
She is constantly under stress, frustration and disappointment. She risks divorce, may get rivals, lose respect and sometimes ridiculed.
Childlessness is bad enough for a couple. The situation becomes especially difficult when other self-appointed stakeholders, notably the in-laws invade matrimonial homes and demand children as if they can be picked from the shelves.
‘Mepe nana’ to wit,’ ‘I want grand-children’ is a common demand of grandmothers. And what do these combatants do with their grandchildren? Very little or nothing.
However, for the pride of being a grandparent, they are prepared to destroy a peaceful home.
Many women in their frustration to have children have blown away fortunes or been victims of fake herbalists and pastors. Some strip naked before fake pastors for ‘holy bath’.
There is also the case of a fake pastor who claimed he could make any barren woman pregnant by sleeping with her because he has holy spirit anointing in his sperms and many including highly educated women queued up for the anointing. Women!
Build a positive image of your marriage: Fear and despair will worsen your condition. Never spiritualise your condition and believe your problem is caused by in-laws or evil forces.
Again, avoid seducing other men to make you pregnant. Some men may blow the whistle on you and in some cases DNA test may spill the beans.
Have regular sex: Appreciate any woman can get pregnant anytime in her menstrual cycle. It is therefore, advisable to have regular sex even during your periods.
Encourage your man to go for medical checks with you. At the same time avoid unorthodox treatments. Most are toxic and may worsen your condition.
Must you stay in a childless marriage?
The main purpose of marriage by God’s plan is companionship which gives positive self-image and stability of mind which are critical for human growth and development.
Children are temporary gifts of our Maker and visitors who will come and go away.
If you have challenges with fertility, identify that you can do without children. Get involved in activities you both enjoy. Travel and make many friends who are good role models to give you support.
Adopt children if you mutually agree to do so. If nothing works, come to terms with your situation and live your life in full and reckon that at least you have each other.
Must you stay in childless marriage? Why not? You can cope with childlessness and lead a happy marriage. Parenthood is not about biology; it is about love and care.
As you show these values in your home, church and society you become a model of parenthood.
The love you share with or without children is the only key to a fulfilling marriage.