Traditional Practices of Turkish Infertile Women: An Example from a Rural County
Infertility is not only a health problem, but is also a central existential intrapersonal and relational conflict. Infertility treatments are invasive, expensive, time-consuming, emotionally draining. All over the world there are numerous traditional methods used in the treatment of infertility. This investigation was carried out to determine the traditional practices of infertile women in a rural county in Eastern Turkey. This is a descriptive study carried out in 105 primary infertile women. Data were collected between September 2007 and April 2008 by using a questionnaire. Data analysis included descriptive statistics. 55% of the women were in the 25–34 year age range. It was observed that only 17% of the women applied to a gynecologist without using any traditional applications while 83% of the women applied for traditional applications. The most prevalent traditional practices were consulting traditional healers, visiting mausoleums where religious leaders were buried, using traditional drugs, use of written fertility amulets. Various traditional practices against infertility are prevalent rural counties. Some of these practices may be potentially harmful for women. Health professionals should be aware that infertile women may sometimes follow questionable traditional practices and advices.