Discrepancy in perception of infertility and attitude towards treatment options: Indonesian urban and rural area

Achmad Kemal Harzif, Victor Prana Andika Santawi, Stephanie Wijaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In Indonesia infertility affects 10-15% of reproductive-age couples. In addition to medical problem, infertility in Indonesia poses significant social problem. Childlessness is often stigmatized as a failure which victimizes couples, moreover the females. Despite the high prevalence, there is no fertility awareness education which further passes down the common myth, misperception, and negative attitude towards infertility treatment in Indonesian society. Objective: This study aims to reveal the knowledge, myth, and attitude towards infertility, likewise acceptance towards infertility treatment options. Method: Cross-sectional study using standardized questionnaire was done to 272 individuals consisted of two parallel groups: Jakarta and Sumba representing urban and rural population respectively. Participants were all outpatients above 18 years old who visited the healthcare centers from February 2017 to June 2017. Results: Knowledge on biological and lifestyle risk factors of infertility among Jakarta and Sumba groups were comparable. However, belief in supernatural causes of infertility is remarkable in Sumba population. There is a common misconception on the use of contraception as risk factors of infertility in both groups. Half respondents from both groups think infertility is a disease. In Jakarta 93.4% respondents consider both female and male should be investigated for infertility; in Sumba only 55.4% agree while 33.1% consider only female should be investigated. Infertility is an acceptable reason for polygamy for 41.3% respondents in Sumba, with 34.7% blaming maternal side for childlessness. Most respondents from both groups accept the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology and fertility enhancing drugs as treatment options. Conclusion: Lack of understanding, misleading myths, and negative attitude towards infertility have been illustrated in the sample population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalReproductive Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2019


  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Attitude
  • Infertility
  • Knowledge
  • Misperception
  • Myth
  • Rural
  • Urban

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