Predictors of infertility among Women of Reproductive Age in Uganda:A case control study of Kampala District
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Background: Infertility affects up to 15% of couples of reproductive age worldwide and its trends remained constant between 1990 and 2010. One in four couples in Uganda seeks counselling on failure to conceive. Various lifestyle and dietary modifications have been found to be cheap and easier ways of reversing infertility among women of reproductive age. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between nutrition, health status, and lifestyle factors and infertility among women of reproductive age in Uganda in order to improve reproductive health counselling to women who are failing to conceive. Methods: The study design was a case-control. It included fertile and infertile women of reproductive age (15-49 years) around Kampala. Convenience sampling was used to identify respondents until the required sample was achieved. Structured questionnaires were administered to the respondents. For data analysis, a chi-square test was used and variables significantly related to the outcome variable were treated as covariates. Multivariate logistic regression analyses of unadjusted data to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of each indicator on infertility was done. Results: The age of the woman (p=0.035), the work they do (p=0.003), consumption of either alcohol (p=0.037), margarines (p=0.027), fruits (p=0.027) or vegetables (p=0.011) and the presence of fibroids (p=0.011) were the predictors of infertility among women of reproductive age in Uganda. The consumption of margarines (p=0.013, OR= 1.487) and the presence of fibroids (p=0.033, OR= 27.425) were the biggest predictors of infertility among WRA in Uganda after adjusting for all other factors. Conclusion: Advising on consumption of plenty of fruits and vegetables and the reduction in the use of alcohol and margarines should be part of pre-conception counselling among Women of reproductive age in Uganda. Women should plan on conceiving earlier in their youthful years < 35 and they should also do regular screening for fibroids and other diseases that could affect their fertility.