Perception of Prenatal Sex Selection among Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in a South Western Nigerian Town
Objective: To determine the perception of child sex selection and the factors affecting acceptance of assisted reproductive techniques for child sex selection among pregnant women in Ogun state, Southwestern Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional survey conducted among 400 antenatal clinic attendees in the three largest hospitals in Sagamu and its environs in Ogun state.
Results: Participants were mostly Yorubas (83.1%), Christians (71.5%) and had tertiary education (52.8%). The male child was preferred among respondents who indicated their choice (84.8%). Relative subfertility before index conception influenced the preference for a male child (p<0.001); it however, did not have any significant influence on awareness of methods of prenatal sex selection (p=0.965, CI=0.960-0.969). Presence of existing male children had a significantly negative effect on preferred child sex (p=0.377, CI=0.365-0.390). In-vitro fertilization with embryo transfer (71.3%) is the method of assisted conception most known to the respondents while selective embryo transfer is the commonest method of prenatal sex selection they are aware of (42.6%). Educational level (p<0.001), ethnicity (p<0.05) and religion (p<0.001), determined the acceptance of prenatal sex selection. Most (77.8%) of the respondents who welcomed the idea, would undergo procedures to have a male child; a choice which however did not significantly influence their opinion on legal regulation of these procedures.
Conclusion: Pregnant women in Sagamu are mostly aware of assisted reproductive techniques for prenatal sex selection and would consider them for difficulty in bearing male offspring. This choice however did not significantly affect their attitudes towards legal restrictions of sex selective procedures.