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Infertility among Yoruba Women: Perceptions on Causes, Treatments and Consequences

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The Yoruba of southwest Nigeria believe that infertility can be due to spittle problems, for which orthodox medical treatment is not appropriate. Therefore, women frequently seek prevention and treatment for infertility from local herbal and spiritual specialists, and from churches. This article presents preliminary findings from an anthropological applied research on fertility regulation among the Yoruba of Nigeria, and explains how Yoruba women and local providers of fertility regulation services perceive the causes, treatments and consequences of infertility. It concludes by explaining how the fear of infertility influences decision-making concerning the use of contraceptives, induced abortion, and pregnancy before marriage. (Afr J Reprod Health 1999; 3[1]: 13-26) Key Words: Yoruba, Nigeria, perception on infertility, traditional medicine


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