Determining the need for fertility care and the acceptability and feasibility of administering a fertility awareness tool from the user's perspective in a sample of Sudanese infertility patients

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Fertility experts have advocated addressing preventable causes of infertility and early intervention. However, awareness of risk factors is low, especially in low- and middle-income countries where the prevalence of infertility is high. To address this lack of awareness, the Fertility Awareness Tool (FertiSTAT) was adapted for use in Sudan and other low-resource countries. The aims of this study were to ascertain the need for fertility education in Sudan (Aim 1), and to gauge the acceptability and feasibility of implementing the FertiSTAT in Sudan (Aim 2), both from the patients' perspective. Convenience sampling was used to recruit participants for semi-structured-in-depth interviews from a fertility clinic in Sudan. We collected sociodemographic information, medical and reproductive history, asked about fertility knowledge, administered the FertiSTAT and asked about the acceptability of the FertiSTAT. Thematic analysis was conducted for qualitative data. Twenty participants were included; of these, 17 were female, 13 were educated beyond secondary school, the mean age was 32.8 years, and the mean duration of infertility was 4.1 years. Ten themes emerged: of these, three themes addressed Aim 1: 'desire for fertility information', 'state of fertility knowledge' and 'benefits of fertility education'; and seven themes addressed Aim 2: 'specific suggestions for the tool', 'factors influencing the acceptability and feasibility of implementing the tool', 'challenges and barriers to implementation', 'self-disclosure', 'understanding of being at risk', 'compatibility with worldview' and 'cultural tailoring'. Fertility education was viewed as necessary and beneficial; however, participants thought that lack of acceptability of sensitive topics would hinder the implementation of the FertiSTAT. Acceptability and feasibility would be enhanced if challenges were addressed in a culturally sensitive manner using cultural tailoring of materials to increase compatibility with individual worldviews.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReproductive Biomedicine & Society Online
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors.

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