Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against infertile women: Low- Middle Income Country

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against infertile women: Prevalence in Low- Middle Income Country

Summary of a systematic review by Yuanyuan Wang There is a use of other studies also to add more information in detail. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against infertile women: prevalence in Low- Middle Income Country

What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Violence against women is recognized as a significant public health problem in both developed and developing worlds. Besides violating human rights, it has grave consequences on women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence against women.  The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”  similarly in Intimate Partner Violence, there is any form of violence by a current or former male intimate partner within a union. 


Globally, Over a quarter of women aged15-49 years who have been in a relationship have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner at least once in their lifetime (since age 15). The prevalence estimates of lifetime intimate partner violence range from 20% in the Western Pacific, 22% in high-income countries and Europe, and 25% in the WHO Regions of the Americas to 33% in the WHO African region, 31% in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, and 33% in the WHO South-East Asia region. 

Infertility is defined as the inability to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse, which has significant implications for the health and wellbeings of couples of reproductive age. 

Intimate partner violence against reproductive-age women is an existing occurrence in the human biosphere. Any violence can exert a negative impact on the women’s physical, psychological, sexual, and reproductive health. 

Published evidence, mostly from low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), has suggested that infertile women might have a higher risk of IPV than that of the general population

In the systematic review by Wang, there were a total of 11 databases searched to identify studies on IPV among infertile women published between database inception and Sept 30, 2021. The database searched were: 

  1. PubMed
  2. PsycINFO
  3. CINAHL Plus
  4. Embase
  6. Web of Science
  7. ProQuest Dissertations & theses Global
  8. ProQuest International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
  9. Chinese Wanfang Database
  10. Chinese CNKI Database and
  11. China Biology Medicine Database

What was the result of the Systematic Review?

After the identification of 2661, 120 full-text articles were reviewed out of which 30 articles were identified as eligible for systematic review. Later 5 studies were excluded as three were reporting only prevalence in scores rather than in rates and 2 did not report the prevalence in pst 12 months or lifetime. Among 25 remaining studies, eight studies reported IPV prevalence over a 12-month period and 17 studies reported IPV prevalence over a lifetime. 

IPV over 12 month period: The overall pooled prevalence of IPV was found to be 36%, 24.5% for psychological violence, 11.9% for physical violence, 8.7% for sexual violence, and 2.6% for economic coercion. 

IPV over a lifetime: The pooled prevalence was found to be 47.2%, 51.2% for psychological violence, 20.2% for physical violence, 11.5% for sexual violence, and 9.8% for economic coercion. 

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we summarised the available evidence and used meta-analytical methods to estimate the prevalence of IPV against infertile women in LMICs, despite substantial cross-study heterogeneity. The pooled prevalence of IPV against infertile women in nine LMICs was found to be 36·0% over a 12-month period and 47·2% over a lifetime, with psychological violence being the most common form, followed by physical violence, sexual violence, and economic coercion.

In summary, on average at least one in three infertile women in LMICs experience IPV over a 12-month period and about one in two over a lifetime, which might be underestimated given that the sources of participants in the current study were primarily infertility clinics or hospitals. 

 IPV screening, counseling, and structural interventions should be tailored to identify, facilitate early intervention, and address IPV against infertile women at multiple levels of society.

For the Full article: Go to the Lancet Link

Some References: