Intimate Partner Violence against Infertile Women
Purpose: To investigate the magnitude and patterns of domestic violence among infertile women seeking infertility treatment in Tabriz, north-west of Iran.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 200 infertile women referred to an infertility center in Tabriz, North-west of Iran, during the year 2013. The women were interviewed using a validated questionnaire for assessment of violence against women. The data were analyzed using SPSS 13 statistical software package mostly providing descriptive statistics.
Results: Mean age of the participants was 31.1 years. Psychological violence was found to be the most common type of reported violence against infertile women followed by sexual and physical violence. About 45% of the participants had experienced at least one type of physical violence through the yearly period. In 22 cases of physical violence men had used their belt to hit the wife, in 2 cases they used a knife and in one case gun was used to threaten the wife. Face was the most common body organ hit through the physical violence during the infertility period followed by limbs as the second most common organ. About 54% of the participants had experienced at least one type of sexual violence. One participant stated that that she had sought medical consultation after the forced sexual relationship. About 82% of the participants had experienced at least one type of psychological violence. Scurrility, humiliation and yelling were the most common type of psychological violence among infertile women in this study involving more than two-third of them. In present study the most common type of physical violence was slapping that was reported in 37 % of the participants followed by throwing objects in 26.5%.
Conclusion: Violence against infertile women is an issue of importance that need to be sufficiently addressed by the health policy makers and infertility health care providers. Infertility healthcare providers should consider the possibility of domestic violence against women and its potential poor psychological outcomes.