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When IVF Fails, Other Therapies Can Help

Saturday, December 24, 2011

AFRH states minimum requirements for IVF clinics

The executive of the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health has spelt out the minimum requirements for setting up an In-Vitro Fertilisation clinic in Nigeria.
The fertility practitioners in Nigeria, under the registered body of AFRH at its inaugural national meeting in Lagos penultimate Friday, emphasised the importance of “informed consent” and ethical responsibility of the practitioner to the patient and other practitioners and all users of the practice.
According to a press release signed by the Secretary-General, Mrs. Bobo Kayode, members agreed on the need for counselors as part of the IVF team to address socio-psychological issues.
Also at the meeting, the guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine was reviewed and adopted, albeit with certain modifications to suit the Nigerian environment.
More important, the AFRH reviewed the guidelines on the number of embryos that should be transferred per patient, taking cognizance of how it relates to patient’s age and presence of any history of uterine factors.
“As a result of these, we would like to establish a working relationship with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Nigeria,” the communiqué stated.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

3,000 babies born yearly in Nigeria by IVF – Giwa-Osagie









About 3,000 babies are born yearly in Nigeria by In Vitro Fertilization, IVF, because of infertility of couples caused by infections.
Professor Osata Giwa-Osagie disclosed this during a distinguished professor lecture at University of Lagos, Wednesday.
In a lecture entitled, “The Development and Future of Advanced Fertility Management: A West African Perspective,” Giwa-Osagie said for man to survive, he must reproduce and evolve, referring to a Biblical injunction which instructs man to “go and multiply.”
According to him, statistical models and observation of human couples led to the expectation that 80 per cent of couples engaging in regular sexual intercourse without contraception will achieve a pregnancy within 12 months.
“The 20 per cent of couples who have not achieved a pregnancy are defined as being infertile. These infertile couples are those who require proper investigation and fertility management. Estimates of infertility in populations vary from five per cent to as much as 30 per cent, and have geographical variation, with prevalence rates of 7-10 per cent accepted for most populations of couples.”
Giwa-Osagie said a childless marriage in Africa faces major challenges regarding stability and continuation. That infertility leads to marital breakdown, mental illness, domestic violence, polygamy, adultery, suicide among other consequences.
“Consequently, infertility and its management assume important places in the African context.
Yet Africa has poor economic, health, education and development indices.”
He submitted that proper and appropriate management of infertility requires the application of modern social and technological procedures in the investigation, treatment and follow up of infertile couples. The procedures involve basic history and physical examination with targeted questioning as well as investigation of both male and female partners.
On causes, he said the predominant cause of infertility in West Africa is tubal damage in the women, caused by infections at or after birth in unhygienic environments, complicated abortions, and sexually transmitted infections. These account for over 75% of tubal disease in West Africa.
The woman may also suffer from anovulation and irregular menses, or uterine a bnormalities such as fibroids which occur in up to 40% of infertile Nigerian women.
“In the male, causes of infertility have been found in up to 40% of infertile couples; 55% of the cases emanates from female while in 5-10% there is no cause found.
The major cause is sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and other chronic bacterial infections.”
He stated that in both male and female, a small percentage – less than 5% of causes of infertility are due to congenital abnormalities such as genetic anomalies.
“Of all methods of infertility treatment, induction of ovulation has resulted in the greatest success rates – up to 60-70% of stimulated cycles with 40-50% birth rates.”
Giwa-Osagie explained that overall disappointing results led to:
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) initially for tubal blockage indications ordered to include low sperm count and unexplained infertility. Overall pregnancy rates is 2040% per embryo transfer.
*Egg Donation – revolution in motherhood. Allows women with no ovaries or non-functioning ovaries or menopausal to have children. They conceive and carry the pregnancy.
*This extends the frontiers in female child bearing beyond 60 years of age in some women. Egg donors are below age 30 years usually, while recipients can be of any age.
*Uterine fibroids – common in black women, 40% of infertile Nigerian women have fibroids.


SOURCE: newnigerianpolitics

Monday, November 21, 2011

DOCTORS’ FORUM SEEKS REGULATION FOR IVF TREATMENT

Medical doctors who brainstormed at the recent Doctors Forum organised by Pathcare Laboratory Nigeria have called for strict regulation and monitoring of Invitro Fertilisation (IVF) activities in the country following the rise in the profile of the practice even as they stressed the need for prenatal diagnosis.
The medical doctors regretted that although IVF is currently carried out in 17 IVF centres, Nigeria is yet to establish any regulatory measures concerning the practice resulting into a situation where there is no consistency among fertility experts.
In his paper entitled: "Ethical Considerations in IVF", Managing Director of Bridge Clinic, Dr. Richard Ajayi, affirmed that the practice needs to be regulated to safeguard the practice from imminent disaster.
Ajayi who was of the view that society norms and cultural values should guard any regulatory measure on the practice maintained that there should be regulation to protect the expansion of the procedure.
"Science is rapidly advancing and these issues will come up. Unfortunately, in Nigeria there is no legislative frame work to regulate the procedure. However, as doctors working in the society, whatever we do should be acceptable to the society. Therefore, we should look at societal position in determining what we do in IVF.”
On the debate on whom should be given opportunity to IVF treatment, the doctors who were divided on a number of ethical and social norms raised at the forum unanimously agreed on the importance of IVF but said that the services should not be offered to single women.
On the debate on whom should be given opportunity to IVF treatment, the doctors who were divided on a number of ethical and social norms raised at the forum unanimously agreed on the importance of IVF but said that the services should not be offered to single women.
In her submission, Chairman Pathcare Nigeria, Prof. Ibironke Akinsete, was of the view that divorced women and widows should be considered.
In his paper on Prenatal Diagnosis", Dr Olajuwon Alibi, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, noted that the importance of prenatal diagnosis in society, "is all about finding information that affects the baby while in the womb without causing any harm to the mother.”
Alabi said prenatal diagnosis facilitates timely medical or surgical treatment o a condition before or after birth.
Listing conditions where prenatal diagnosis is required, he said in cases such as Down syndrome, sickle cell anaemia, high cost has remained a major problem in the society.
Although, he agreed about the high cost of the diagnosis he stressed the need to get to the objective of the diagnosis. Alabi who also reasoned that the prenatal diagnosis is not done in cases such as sickle cell anaemia for the woman to terminate the pregnancy said it is mostly for the couple to make inform decision as well as plan ahead for the outcome of the tests.
He said such diagnosis is to improve quality of life of the unborn child and not to destroy it. He called for regulation of abortion in that regard. "A lot of these tests are done for rest of mind not to create more problems.”
Source: allafrica.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Infertility: Nordica offers free IVF

Research has shown that one out of every four couples or 25 percent of couples have fertility problems and would require one sort of intervention or the other, which is part of the reasons why we have appreciable demand of Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) solutions such as the popular In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF).


Recently, the excitement was quite high at the Banquet Hall of the Grand Hotel, Asaba Delta State on the occasion of this year’s draws of the Fertility Treatment Support Foundation (FTSF) initiative implemented in partnership with Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos/Asaba. According to the Medical Director of Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, the idea of organising a public draw, in which 16 Nigerian couples across the federation would, over a two-year period, have opportunity to access series of free IVF cycles under the FTSF initiative formerly known as E.A.R.T (Expanded Access for Reproduction Techniques) and was established as a result of the prevalence of infertility in our society today.


“Affordability of treatment is one of the most common causes for concern of the fertility-challenged couples as a regular IVF cycle in any standard fertility treatment facility costs an average of N650, 000 to N1, 000,000 depending on the clinic and profile of the case. As a result, many couples desirous of conceiving their own babies have been denied the opportunity to have access to the initiative, due to their inability to afford the cost. Hence, to keep the dream of fertility-challenged couples alive, FTSF was born.”


The FTSF has, for years, been committed to the goal of giving 16 lucky Nigerians completely free IVF treatment cycle over a space of two years. The initiative was put together as a platform for enabling all fertilitychallenged Nigerian couples, to have access to the best and most advanced assisted fertility treatment services in the world, at no cost. The two lucky couples, who ultimately emerged from the raffle draw, will benefit from a full IVF or combination fertility treatment novel initiatives. This translates into two Nigerians every quarter.


SOURCE: NATIONALMIRRORONLINE

Bridge Clinic launches LASUTH IVF Facility in Lagos

NIGERIA’S foremost IVF and assisted conception clinic, The Bridge Clinic, has launched an IVF facility known as the Institute of Fertility Medicine in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) with the Commissioner of Health, Jide Idris, and other dignitaries, in attendance.

The facility, which is a CSR initiative by The Bridge Clinic, is in collaboration with the Lagos State Government and is one that will offer IVF services at subsidised rates to couples who have had difficulty in conception.
Speaking at the launch of the Institute of Fertility Medicine in the LASUTH Complex, the Managing Director of The Bridge Clinic, Dr. Richardson Ajayi, said: “Of utmost importance and concern to us is the well being and happiness of the Nigerian woman and our community at large in the provision of quality fertility services as the same global standard we are known for.

“This is why at The Bridge Clinic we have found it necessary to collaborate with the State Government to set up this clinic as part of our CSR initiative, to reach out to more needing families to help them experience the joy of childbirth, and also try to give back to the community that has given us so much.”

Ajayi said since the IVF procedure involved the employment of expensive resources, such as highly trained staff, expensive equipment and consumables, the cost especially in a developing economy like Nigeria could be high.
This, he said, “makes it unaffordable for the average woman.”

Also commenting on the launch, Idris said: “Lagos State is thrilled to be collaborating with The Bridge Clinic on the launch of this facility (Institute of Fertility Medicine) which will bring the IVF and other gynaecological services to the women of Lagos State at a highly subsidised rate.

“We have no doubt in our minds that The Bridge Clinic, being the first solely focused assisted conception clinic in Nigeria, will deliver top of the range services to every woman that walks through the doors of this new facility we are launching here today. The purpose of partnering with The Bridge Clinic is to ensure the goal of restoring the joy of families is achieved at a subsidized rate.”

Since its establishment in Nigeria, the clinic has achieved a number of firsts, the most notable being the first to achieve a birth by surrogacy and also the first to achieve a birth by Surgical Sperm Collection (SSC).
The clinic has recorded the birth of 1,252 children since opening its operations to the public in 1999.


SOURCE: NATIONAL DAILYNG.COM

IVF MUST BE DEMYSTIFIED TO PROTECT PATIENTS

Following revelations that many Nigerians seeking solution to infertility problems are falling into the hands of quacks, a fertility expert has advocated that In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Treatment must be demystified in the country.


To this end, Prof. Oladapo Asiru, medical director, Medical Art Centre (MART), who made the call said most people with infertility problem that get pregnant and bear children through IVF should reveal the background of their story to encourage others with similar problems to access the same care.


IVF, which is a major treatment in infertility, is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body: in vitro. IVF is used when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg is then transferred to the patient’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. The first successful birth of the baby from this procedure, named, Louise Brown, occurred in 1978.


Speaking further on demystifying IVF, Ashiru who is an experienced endocrinologist and joint pioneer of IVF Research in Nigeria said, “The earlier IVF is demystified in this country, the better it is for the people,” and reasoned that the development will make the procedure a popular and acceptable treatment for infertility.


In addition, he said it will open the door for people to access IVF treatment from genuine and reputable fertility health facilities.


He made the call at a Clinical Presentation on High Incidence/Order of Multiple Pregnancies and Multiple Births in the Last Two Rears in the Medical Arts Centre at LOFUM House, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos State.


According to Ashiru who founded the Medical Arts Centre and runs it with other fertility physicians and embryologists, many people in the country just get pregnant through IVF, but they do not reveal the success story behind the procedure of that conception and successful delivery.


However, he lamented that this problem of secrecy is not limited to infertility alone, adding that even regarding menopause, some women do not want to own up that they have attained menopause. “Whereas, menopause is a normal process of ageing”, said Ashiru..


He lamented that because there is not much awareness about IVF as a treatment option for infertility, people are going to wrong places and are being mistreated. “Some patients receive the worst of quackery,” said Ashiru.


On the successes recorded at the Medical Arts Centre in the area of multiple pregnancies and multiple births between 2009 and 2011, Ashiru said, “We recognise the fact that in 2009 series, we had mainly twin pregnancies while in 2010 series, we had higher number of gestations such as quintuplets. Thus, we reduced the number of embryos transferred in IVF treatment this year 2011.”


Explaining the reason why women seeking IVF treatment at the Medical Arts Centre are not only recording successful pregnancies, but also multiple babies in twins, triplets and even quadruplets, Ashiru said the multiple pregnancies at the centre are due to the effectiveness of the stimulation protocol, the efficiency of the laboratory, especially with Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), the high quality of embryos as well as the use of ultrasound guided embryo transfer. “We equally recognise the role of our pre-IVF evaluations such as Hysterosonography, ovarian improvement regime, and the use of immune support are contributing factors to the successes.


Besides, he noted that the quality of the embryos and success rate is due to additional services in the Medical Arts Centre such as the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and blastocyst transfer. PGD is a technique used to identify genetic defects in embryos, created through IVF before pregnancy).


Similarly, the centre has an efficient management team on ground. “Currently, at our centre, the overall pregnancy rate is about 45 per cent in all ages per embryo transfer,” said Ashiru.


Highlighting other reasons why people choose IVF treatment in other countries, he said the procedure is now being done for other reasons. “Some people are now doing IVF because of convenience,” he said.


For instance, a woman who is married to a pilot that is constantly traveling and is away from home may not be able to utilise the ovulation period and the woman can be missing intercourse during ovulation day for a whole year. “So, he just brings his sperm, stores it in the laboratory and when his wife is ovulating, the sperm will be used for her. So, IVF is now done as a programmed thing as well as for elderly patients to eliminate abnormality in their kids,” said Ashiru.


SOURCE: NIGERIANCOMPASS.COM

Monday, September 5, 2011

IVF still an all-comers affair in Nigeria

The absence of a regulatory framework for fertility treatment in Nigeria has continually put a growing number of couples in need of In vitro Fertilization and other Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) on the vulnerable edge.


Added to this, is the growing incidence of public distrust for the health system in Nigeria, has encouraged quackery in the highly specialized field of medical technology.


This has become a major issue of concern to experts, especially at a time debates are raging over what passes for ethical or not in Assisted Reproduction among various groups of people.


This played up at a recent jaw-jaw session held in Lagos between medical experts, representatives of religious groups, media and others organized by the Bridge Clinic, one of the first few fertility treatment centres in Nigeria.


There, it was reiterated that a growing number of Nigerians, especially females are faced with the sad society-induced consequences of not being able to conceive and have babies naturally.


Managing Director, Bridge Clinic, Dr. Richardson Ajayi, noted many Nigerian couples are truly finding it difficult o have babies naturally, but added that the advent of IVF and similar techniques have brought succor to many people in the country as well.


He, however, said, “The absence of regulatory framework has made it difficult to ensure standards are kept, as some people, because they have the money to buy equipment would just go into fertility treatment.”


At the Society of Gynecologists of Nigeria (SOGON) conference held earlier in Abuja, Ajayi emphasized that all stakeholders must look at the state of regulation around the world and focus on ethical issues that might have to be considered in Nigeria before making proposals for deliberation.


At the Lagos session, he noted that “the United Kingdom and other countries already have resounding frameworks for the regulation of fertility treatment,” adding that Nigeria must begin to think in that light.


Meanwhile, in a collective resolution, experts, religious, leaders and others present at the Lagos meeting agree that IVF, is an ethical practice, although questions were raised by the religious groups


“The catholic does not support any act that would amount to termination of life and in IVF and similar procedures we do know that the unwanted embryos, which by all definition is already a life are destroyed to avoid multiple implantations are destroyed. This the catholic does not accept,” Catholic priest, Sylvester Nwutu, noted.


According to him, the catholic supports natural means of procreation because it fosters the God-given union between the couples involved.


Similarly, a Muslim cleric, Suleyman Fulani, noted that some of the procedures are accepted as medical exigencies by Islam so long it is not performed by the opposite sex in cases that require the patient baring intimate parts of the body.


It was difficult convincing attendees at that event that surrogacy, was indeed ethical as some of them believe, there are other means of achieving this.


The catholic cleric, just like an Anglican Priest at the event, thinks adoption is a good option for those desiring of babies, considering the huge tendency of parental crisis that could emanate.


Consultant Obstertrician and Gynaecologist (O&G), Professor Friday Okonofua, however, pointed out that surrogacy does not run foul of ethics.


“In surrogacy, the sperm and egg that achieved fertilization are actually from the couple and not the person carrying the baby. There is no genetic input from the surrogate mother at all,” Okonofua said.


It was, however, unanimously accepted at that meeting that IVF and ART for single women and same sex couples should not be encouraged, hence rated as unethical.


Consultant O&G at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Niyi Oduwole, said, “Agreed, westernization is catching up with us, but we should also be cautious to imbibe, as much as possible, the good things and not the bad ones. IVF for same sex, singles should not even be in our thinking otherwise it would be a lost fight to ever convince anyone that the process is ethical at all.”


In Anglican priest’s words, “we are raising a society of responsible people. Any woman who wants to have babies should just go and get married otherwise, should adopt a child.”


Mr. Emmanuel Ugoji of Ipas Nigeria, however, added another tilt to the arguments, when he said, “In all of this, choice should determines what action a couple takes. What if you are neither a Christian nor Muslim, and not guided by the respective laws and doctrine. What do you do when you are confronted with issues on childbearing in a country like Nigeria. The couple still must make a choice on what is good for them, although the eventual decision must be guided by adequate knowledge.”


IVF and Intra-Cystoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) are two commonly used procedures to achieve conception in couples with ICISI being specifically used to treat male factor infertility.


According to experts, one in every four couples in Nigeria may have difficulty achieving conception through natural means, highlighting the increasing problem of infertility. Most of these cases are caused by infections over time, of the female reproductive tract, tubal blockage or rupture as well as low sperm count and poor sperm quality, among others.


Although, infertility among many couples is perceived as mostly from the female, studies have shown that a growing number of males factor infertility, which is associated with various factors.


A case-control study of risk factors for male infertility in Nigeria by Friday Okonofua and four others Infertility is associated with various proxies of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and poor healthcare-seeking behavior for STIs in Nigerian men.


The study, which also featured in the Asian Journal of Andrology, found, in a multivariate analysis that male infertility was significantly associated with bacteria in semen cultures, self-reporting of previous use of traditional medications and moderate to heavy alcohol intake, but not with smoking and occupational types.


They also found that infertile men were significantly more likely than fertile men to experience penile discharge, painful micturition and genital ulcers. They are also less likely to seek treatment for these symptoms and more likely to seek treatment with informal sector providers.


SOURCE:INDEPENDENTONLINE.COM



Friday, September 2, 2011

IVF centre ‘records high pregnancy rate’

prof. ashiru


A LAGOS in-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) centre, Medical Art Centre, says it has recorded the highest pregnancy rates in the history of IVF in the country.


According to its Medical Director, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, the accomplishment was due to the effectiveness of the stimulation protocol, the efficacy of the laboratory especially with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), staff and quality of embryos coupled with the use of ultrasound guided embryo transfer.


Ashiru disclosed this during the clinical presentation of the centre. It was tagged high incidence/ order of multiple pregnancies and multiple births in the last two years.


He said during an 18-month period from 2009 to 2011, 20 women within the ages of 30 to 35 had multiple pregnancies from twins and quintuplets, adding that of those women, one delivered a singleton, six twins while three delivered triplets. Another woman also delivered quadruplet while two delivered quintuplets.


In addition, three women are currently carrying singleton, two twins, one expecting triplets and two women quadruplet pregnancies.


Ashiru said: “We recognise the role of our pre-IVF evaluations such as hysterosonography, ovarian improvement regime and the use of immune support as contributory factors to the success.”


He praised the quality of embryos, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and blastocyst transfer for the successful pregnancies.


Ashiru said many of the women before their successful IVF treatment had psychosocial and emotional issues. “For example, many marriages were saved,” he added.


He said it is left for couples to narrate their stories, adding that people are still skeptical in our society to share their personal experience after a successful IVF treatment.


Ashiru said: “It is important to dispel the myths around IVF treatment and IVF babies. IVF produces normal babies who grow up to be bright and intelligent children.”


He said people should be encouraged to share their stories which may help other couples find succour.


“We believe the more people talk about their success openly, the better it would be for those who need such services and the more acceptable the process would be, he said.




SOURCE: INDEPTHAFRICA.COM


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Exercise and Diet important for Successful IVF Treatment

The chance of conception occurring in a single cycle of IVF treatment is 25 percent on average with marked variations based on the female partner’s age. It would, therefore, be prudent to do whatever one can to improve the chances of a positive outcome. The importance of a good diet and exercise as part of a daily routine cannot be overestimated. Good exercise and diet habits are an integral part of any lifestyle but have also been found to be beneficial for both men and women trying to conceive.


Studies have shown that women who are overweight often have problems with ovulation, menstruation and conception. Obese women have also been found not to respond as well as their slimmer counterparts to the fertility injections. On the other hand women who are underweight may have anovulatory (no ovulation and no menstruation) cycles which in themselves present other problems.


Thus, attaining and maintaining the ideal weight will improve the chances of achieving a pregnancy.
According to Dr Richardson Ajayi, Medical Director, The Bridge Clinic, a healthy and balanced diet can be defined as a diet in which nutrient intake (carbohydrates, protein, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins) is maintained, and cholesterol, salt, sugar and fats is reduced. The idea of a healthy diet is often used to ensure that people are well protected against common illnesses, as well as conditions which stem from poor diet; to which many problems such as headaches, lethargy, reduced. libido, heart disease, alcohol poisoning, and obesity may be attributed. In addition to this, a well balanced diet is essential to any form of exercise, as without a good diet, the body will not have the fuel to recover from the stress of exercise.


“Following a healthy fertility diet is not about deprivation, nor is it about loading up on so-called miracle foods” that are reported to increase fertility. It is about giving the body what it needs, in the right amounts. The key ingredient is balance. Women going through fertility treatment are advised to cut back on fats.


“However it is well known that fat is necessary for proper body functioning. Without it, the body’s systems will not operate normally. Some sources of fat are better than others and too much fat has adverse effects on the body. The same holds true for carbohydrates and protein. A balanced fertility diet will incorporate each of these in the appropriate amounts, along with other key nutrients. Because even the healthiest and most diverse diet won’t necessarily provide all of the vitamins and minerals that the body needs, a multivitamin is recommended as well.


“Women who are overweight tend to have more fat in their bodies and, because 30 percent of oestrogen comes from fat cells, this means they usually have more oestrogen. This can affect ovulation, menstruation and conception negatively. Women who are overweight also tend to be more resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance can force the body to produce excess levels of insulin, which can inhibit ovulation.


“For obese women who have underlying fertility problems, weight loss can improve the chances of success because excess body fat makes patients resistant to the effects of fertility medications and increases the risk of complications during treatment with assisted reproductive technologies (ART). By following a fertility diet and exercise plan for a period of time prior to undergoing treatment, most women can significantly improve their chances of conceiving.
“Obese women are at risk for miscarriage, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, preterm delivery, macrosomia, low birth weight, stillbirth, delivery via operative route, and postoperative complications. Underweight women are also at risk for miscarriage, low birth weight, preterm delivery, and stillbirth. It is therefore important to have and maintain the right body weight before and during IYF treatment to optimize the chances of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby.


“Advice for a healthy fertility diet would be to eat foods that are as natural .as possible. Avoid chocolate, sugary foods, salty snacks, processed foods, coffee, tea, and cola. Fizzy drinks and alcohol add to the bloated feeling many women complain about during ovarian stimulation. Drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water a day is highly recommended.


“PCOS, also known as Anovulation Androgen Excess (AAE), is a key cause of obesity in women undergoing fertility treatment. It is a condition in which women have high levels of male hormones (androgens). These hormones playa role in blocking the release of the egg from the follicle and in the overproduction of the female hormone, oestrogen. As a result the ovaries fill with cysts or create immature follicles that are unable to generate eggs.
“Insulin seems to be a key factor in PCOS. Many women with PCOS have increased insulin resistance. High levels of insulin in the blood lead to the ovaries producing too much androgen. Excess insulin also leads to excess glucose in the blood, and sets the conditions for prediabetes, and weight gain. If untreated, PCOS can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
“Clinically, if you have two out of three of the following symptoms you will most likely be diagnosed with PCOS. irregular, few, or absent menstrual periods, androgen excess – clinical or biochemical (excessive body hair, acne, loss of head hair, increased testosterone in the blood) and polycystic ovaries (ovaries with 10 or more follicles)


“Insulin is a hormone that regulates the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body’s use or for storage. Excess insulin causes a rise in male hormones, which can lead to acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain, and ovulation problems.
“Insulin insensitivity contributes to weight gain, especially around the abdomen and makes it harder to lose the weight. This excess fat sets up a negative feed back system where high blood levels of the fat derived hormone, leptin, increases the appetite and inhibits the production of female fertility hormones.
Continuing, he said, just losing 5 to 10 percentage of your body weight can be enough to bring on monthly ovulatory cycles. A combination of weight loss, diet, exercise, and mind body techniques can be extremely effective in eliminating peas symptoms, getting ovulation on track, and reversing the negative effects of stress.


“The benefits of exercise are numerous and enhance the overall health status of the individual. Studies have shown that regular exercise: improves the chances of living longer improves quality of life, reduces the risk of heart disease helps lower high blood pressure, helps prevent or control type 2 diabete, reduces the risk of arthritis and alleviates associated symptoms, alleviates symptoms of depression and anxiety
“By exercising on a regular basis, women can help reduce their body fat and oestrogen levels. Low impact exercises are best. Some examples of these include walking, swimming, cycling and yoga. These exercises have low impact on the muscles and the joints and are good cardiovascular workouts. Gradually increase the exercise to 30minutes, 3 to 4 times a week so as not to cause any injuries.


“Men can also make adjustments to maximize their reproductive potential and ensure a happy, healthy baby. Proper diet, exercise, reduced stress and a healthy lifestyle not only improve personal wellbeing but can boost reproductive success as well!
“Do not start any new exercise, sport or event training within 3 months of starting IVF and ensure that jogging is kept below 20 miles per week. Over exercise can affect male fertility by causing the internal temperature of a man’s testicles to rise, which kills sperm cells.


“Another issue couples getting ready for IVF treatment face is stress. The stress of taking daily injections, the side effects the drugs cause, the stress of having been without a child for so long, and stress from family and in-laws. The distress caused by stress can really take its toll on fertility. Stress can make it difficult to be intimate with your partner. Stress can also trigger a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular problems and depression. Stress can also interfere with ovulation and menstruation, as well as sperm health and motility.


“One of the single biggest stumbling blocks that fertility patients face when trying to lose weight is relying on food to cope with stress and other emotional issues. Struggling with infertility can be a very intense experience and, in order to have success with a fertility diet and exercise program, it is necessary to acknowledge and address the impulse to eat in response to emotional upheaval.
“Exercise can also help to relieve stress. Deep meditation exercises go a long way in releasing stress and tension. Yoga and pilates are particularly effective,” he said.


SOURCE:NIGERIANBESTFORUM.COM


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

IVF OFFERS SOLUTION TO INFERTILITY

Couples trying to achieve pregnancy for more than three years without success may need to consider and investigate In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) as an option.


Richardson Ajayi, managing director, The Bridge Clinic, Nigeria’s foremost assisted-conception centre, gave this advice at an interactive session with health writers in Lagos, recently.


According to Ajayi, “It is advisable for couples who have tried to achieve pregnancy for three years without success to go for IVF. IVF is a method of creating an artificial condition for a natural process and it enhances an environment similar to that present in the womb to achieve pregnancy.”


He noted that various causes of infertility can broadly be classified as ovarian problems, uterine problems, tubal problems and semen abnormalities are cases where IVF offers a solution. “The purpose of IVF is to allow the sperm and egg to meet as this is a challenge with the causes of infertility and IVF is the hallmark of treatment for Infertility,” Ajayi reiterated.


Bridge Clinic’s Scientific Director, Peter Hollands, a renowned embryologist whose appointment was in keeping with the vision of offering global standard IVF services to clients, further explained the processes in which occur in the laboratory to assure quality and sustainable outcomes. Hollands attends to details to reduce to the minimum side effects from the procedure, gametes mix-up amongst others. He also ensures best practice as he brings to the table, a wealth of experience in reproductive medicine.


With regard to standards and regulation in the Clinic, Ajayi stated that the IVF process of The Bridge Clinic is the benchmark in assisted-conception services in Nigeria with an annual certification audit carried out by the accrediting body of TUV Austria, most recently led by Bruno Imthurn, a professor, in the IVF department, Zurich.... “We have a duty and responsibility to provide our clients with the same standard of healthcare that is acceptable in the United Kingdom and other European countries because there is and should be only one standard for healthcare delivery. Our quality assurance and control processes are put to the scrutiny of our Scientific Director.’


Ajayi also used the opportunity to intimate all present of The Bridge Clinic’s activities in the nearest future which included the launch of the LASUTH IVF Facility, a facility which will largely subsidise the cost of IVF treatment. Through this avenue, courses will be drawn up and integrated into Medical students’ curriculum to afford them the first-hand basis to learn more about reproductive health. The Bridge Clinic also has a Foundation called ASPIRE whose main driver is LIHN – Let IT Happen Naturally, a programme designed to reach out to the Nigerian youth and enlighten them on infertility and its causes. The Bridge Clinic is also expected to expand its clinic network across the nation.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

IVF OPTION AS SOLUTION TO INFERTILITY

dr. ajayi


We are increasingly seeing young couples these days with various problems of infertility and since we at the Bridge Clinic do not believe in the concept of unexplained infertility, we try as much as we could to assist couples achieve pregnancy using the Invitro Fertilisation (IVF) option and even using the ICSI to a large extent…”





This was the submission of the Medical Director, Bridge Clinic, Lagos, Dr. Richard Ajayi, during the Bridge Clinic IVF Lecture series for media practitioners last week.





According to Dr. Ajayi, a number of times when couples encounter practitioners who declare that the infertility





condition they are experiencing is "unexplainable," it is mostly untrue as there must be some explanations why





either of the couple is infertile.





"For instance on the issue of low sperm count, what we do know is that the vast majority of men who have low sperm count do not have identifiable cause. That is, we really do not know what causes low sperm count but we know staphylococcus does not cause low sperm count.





"Those who are propagating that staph could eat up all the sperm in a man and cause him to be infertile, do not know what they are talking about . "But what we do know is that a high proportion of men with low sperm count have an abnormality of the tip of the Y-chromosome which is also referred to as Teratospermia or teratozoospermia.





"This is a condition characterised by the presence of sperm with abnormal morphology and nature has sort of programmed the low sperm count as a way to block the propagation of the abnormality to the next generation and the truth is that no drug has been scientifically proven to treat or can actually boost low sperm count once it is proven to be so," Ajayi noted.





He said, in a situation where the problem of infertility has been linked to the man's low sperm count, the most probable and best option is for the couple to try without delay, the option of IVF.





"Using the Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure, which is also an in vitro fertilisation procedure whereby a single sperm is taken from the man, injected directly into an egg for fertilisation, a man with low sperm count can still achieve pregnancy in his wife, explained Dr. Ajayi.





He identified some other common causes of infertility to include fibroid in women, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is one of the most common female endocrine disorders affecting approximately five per cent-10 per cent of women of reproductive age (12-45 years old) and is thought to be one of the leading causes of female subfertility blocked fallopian tubes among other causes.





He said for all of these problems and others, the important thing is for a couple to understand that there is an option to achieve pregnancy which is IVF, "though it does not guarantee pregnancy as only God gives life, it is an effort to create an enabling environment for conception and then allow God to do His work of giving the breath of life"





Also speaking at the lecture series, the clinic scientific director, renowned Dr. Peter Holland, who alongside Prof. R. G. Edwards and Edward Steptoe, pioneered the birth of Louise Brown - the first baby born through IVF, described as erroneous the believe that IVF is man's invention at playing God through creating life.





Holland, who is a reproductive medicine expert, noted that a woman has only five per cent chance of becoming pregnant every month provided there is no problem and this chance tends towards zero as she ages.





He described In vitro fertilisation (IVF) as a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body in a very conducive laboratory environment devoid of pollutants and irritants that can affect the quality of embryo being formed.

IVF is a major treatment in infertility cases among couples who have had continuous, regular and unprotected sex for upward of two years without achieving pregnancy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

IVF Is It!

Assisted reproductive technology takes root in Nigeria, as many clinics with facilities for such spring up


At over 50 years of age, half of that as a married woman, Fadekemi Williams (not real names) had given up hope of having a child of her own. She had undergone a variety of orthodox and unorthodox conception procedures, all without a positive result. But about five years ago, Williams, who works with one of the General Hospitals in Lagos, told a friend about the problems she was getting from her in-laws on account of her childessness. The friend suggested Assisted Reproductive Technology. She was not overly excited about the idea. But after much persuasion from her friend, she agreed to give the procedure a shot.


Unfortunately, the first round did not go well. The doctor harvested 10 viable eggs, but none of them fertilised. The second visit two years later was fruitful–a set of triplets at the age 53. Williams’ babies were produced from her eggs and her husband’s sperm and were delivered through Caesarean Section at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.


Ngozi Nwueze, a staffer of the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission, also experienced childlessness for many years before considering the same procedure, better known as In-Vitro Fertilisation, IVF. Ngozi had been married for eight years. Fertility specialists discovered that she had scarred tubes, endometriosis-a condition that occurs most commonly within the Fallopian Tubes and ovaries that may lead to painful menstruation-and fibroid tumours. Ngozi and her husband could not afford the cost of IVF, so they opted for less expensive treatments.


As a last throw of the dice, they decided to save up money and try IVF at a clinic in Lagos. After three attempts, Ngozi became pregnant and now has a son. “The first three attempts were so heart-rending. Thanks to my husband, who encouraged me to try again. Although the cost was so high and almost affected his business, he told me not to worry. Now, I am a proud mother of a healthy boy,” she told TheNEWS.


IVF appears to have grown in popularity in Nigeria, where there are no fewer than 14 IVF-focused clinics. Most of the clinics were established in the last six months. The latest entrant is the EkoCorp Fertility Centre, an arm of Eko Hospital plc in Lagos. The most prominent are The Bridge Clinic, St. Ives Clinics, Roding Medical Centre, Medical Art Centre, Hope Valley Fertility Clinic, Nordica Fertility Centre and Omni Advanced Fertility Centre, all in Lagos.


Others are M&M Hospital, Aba, Abia State; Nisa Premier Hospital and National Hospital, both in Abuja.


The clinics offer a wide range of services such as Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection, ICSI, (a procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg in an attempt to achieve fertilization); intra-uterine insemination (otherwise called artificial insemination.It is the process by which sperm is placed into the female reproductive tract for the purpose of achieving pregnancy), sperm donation, surgical sperm retrieval (a procedure in which sperm is removed from inside a man’s genitals instead of waiting for the sperm to be ejaculated out), surrogacy, egg donor and intra-fallopian transfer (a method in which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries and placed in one of the Fallopian tubes, along with the man’s sperm).


However, the cost and wide error margin of the procedure continue to keep many of those who need it away. Chances of success vary widely for each patient, say experts, depending on the cause of individual infertility problem and age. According to experts, the success rate of 25 to 30 per cent of IVF treatment in Nigeria is the same as obtained anywhere in the world.


Chances of success will depend on many factors, including the cause of the fertility problem and age. The older a woman is, the less her chances. Women above 35 years have far slimmer chances. Women under 30 years are said to have a one in four chance of getting pregnant using the procedure. For those over 40 years, it is one in ten. “Usually the success rate of IVF treatment depends on the number of cycles. One attempt of IVF cannot give you more than 30 per cent chance. So, people have to try it several times. We tell people that the more they do it, the brighter their chances. The success rate of nature is about 18 to 20 per cent every month. If IVF can give you 25 per cent, it is a little bit more than what nature can do,” said Dr. Chidozie Egwuatu, consultant gynaecologist and Medical Director, Lifegate Specialist Hospital, Ogba, Lagos. In Nigeria, many of the clinics claim fantastic results on the successful birth rates in their clinics. Some claim as high as 40 per cent success rate.


Dr. Egwuatu revealed that to increase the chances of success, some clinics abroad ask patients to pay for four, five, six attempts at a go, before they start treatment. The thinking is that a woman’s chances of success are higher in multiple IVF treatment.


Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, medical director, Nordica Fetility Centre, Lagos, said what IVF tries to do is a replication of what happens in a woman in a natural cycle. “IVF babies are normal babies and that is because the quality control system in the body is not tampered with in IVF. That is why we have normal babies. People want to increase success rate without decreasing the quality of the baby. So that is usually the balancing act that is being carried out in researches,” Dr. Ajayi informed.


The cost of IVF in Nigeria, said experts, is also reasonable. This is said to have encouraged a number of Nigerians resident overseas to come home and take advantage of the lower cost for some treatment cycles before returning overseas. In the United States, the average cost is between $10,000 and $12,000, while in the United Kingdom, a cycle costs between £4000 and £8,000. This includes fertility testing and consultation fees. In Nigeria, it costs between N300,000 and N1.5 million for a cycle of treatment, depending on the clinic.


The Bridge Clinic in Lagos is reputed to be the first IVF-focused clinic in Nigeria. It opened in 1999 and has been at the forefront of new developments within the field. Recently, the clinic claimed to have achieved success in gestational surrogacy, the first pregnancy in Nigeria attained through Intra- Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection and testicular sperm procedure. Also, the clinic claimed to have treated over 4,500 clients. It recently celebrated the birth of over 1,000 babies to families that had difficulties conceiving.


“We are committed to providing superior IVF services comparable to international standards. We do not create children; only God has the power to do that. But through our assisted conception services, we have been able to bring succour to thousands of couples experiencing fertility challenges all over the country and beyond,” Dr. Richardson Ajayi, Medical Director of the clinic said at the opening of its fourth facility in Kaduna.


Nordica Centre recently introduced an IVF technique that doubles the procreation chances of men with abnormally low sperm count and poor sperm mobility. The new technique is called Intra-Cytosplasmic Morphologically-selected sperm injection, IMSI. This enables the direct selection of good sperms from the man and then injecting them into the woman’s egg to successfully achieve pregnancy.


Ekocorp Centre claimed it had its first batch of IVF patients in December 2009 and till date, 57 patients have so far obtained treatment at the centre. Out of that figure, 27 pregnancies were recorded, a 36 per cent success rate in less than two years of operation, according to Dr. Sonny Kuku, Chairman, EkoCorp plc. “As at now, we have 10 children delivered from treatment received at the fertility centre and 13 ongoing pregnancies. Our results to date are respectable and compare favourably with what obtains in fertility clinics of similar status in the developing world,” Kuku said at the opening of the clinic in February.


St. Ives Clinic, run by Babatunde Okewale, claimed it has successfully delivered close to 200 IVF babies in its less than a decade existence. Just recently, the clinic announced the delivery of a baby girl by the oldest IVF mother in Nigeria, 57-year-old Mrs. Adeyemi Taiwo.


In Nigeria, unlike in other climes, women still shy away from sharing their experiences after successful IVF treatments. Many women would rather attribute their conception and eventual delivery to spiritual intervention.


—Funsho Arogundade


SOURCE: THENEWSAFRICA.COM


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

IVF has broken the myth of infertility – ALU

Dr. Alu


The myth of infertility being a problem associated only with women has since been broken, as studies have revealed that men also share a part of the burden of infertility in marriages.
In the view of the Chief Medical Director, Maitama Hospital, Abuja, Dr Francis Alu, “Although the woman is always looked at as the culprit with little or no sympathy and/or patience from others, it must be stated that the man equally contributes to infertility hence infertility is regarded as a disease of the couple.

Alu, who is also consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist remarked that the single most important factor in infertility is the age of the female. “Age is not a significant factor in males. This is however, different in females. The chances of a couple achieving pregnancy in any given month is about 25 percent in young people and 15 percentat the age of 40 and less than 5 percentafter that. Fertility declines substantially after age 35 in a woman such that a woman has only half the chance of becoming pregnant than she did at the age 25. It drops rapidly after 40 and pregnancy is rare for the first time after age 45. Miscarriage is also common due to abnormal embryos with increasing age.
Giving a ray of hope for couples seeking to get pregnant, he said the advent of the ground breaking medical procedure of Invitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment has however given hope of a better way to manage infertility.
Alu however cautioned that, “ IVF is not just a solution, but there certain things you must bear in mind before you go for IVF. The cost is very high and it is very stressful and very frustrating, there is no guarantee of success. The success rate is about 20 to 25 percent, people who require this treatment are older people because the embryos are usually abnormal so miscarriages are quit common so even though you can achieve pregnancy, it is the responsibility of IVF doctor to explain these things to the patients so they will be well prepared.
He said IVF treatment has helped many women who ordinarily as a result of tubal damage can not get pregnant. Alu further said in the past there were just very few but quite a number of people are now coming out in specialisation in such area. In Abuja alone we have abut five centers , but now they are over 20. “It is a very, very challenging area and is very lucrative area too and it is rewarding if you get the result you tend to be happy so people are also going into it, but as I said the only draw back is the cost how many people can afford the treatment, the second draw back is there is usually no guarantee of success that’s the truth unless the person is younger.
He hinted that government is contemplating an intervention measure that would substantially accommodate couples. As a result of the cost involved government has not really gone into the issue of assisted reproduction techniques but they have been called by surgeons, gynaecologists and the Nigerian Red Cross that they should at least pick up one or two teaching hospitals, to subsidise this treatment.
However in Abuja , the National Hospital has taken a bold step. There is now an Assisted Reproductive Technology Unit in National Hospital but apart from that I think Benin is trying to have an advanced technique.
And people are saying that government should subsidise it to accommodate those who do not have fund to patronise the various hospitals that have it for now.

Nigeria: IVF Still an All-Comers Affair – Debate Rages Over Ethics of Practice

By Onche Odeh
The absence of a regulatory framework for fertility treatment in Nigeria has continually put a growing number of couples in need of In vitro Fertilization and other Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) on the vulnerable edge.
Added to this, is the growing incidence of public distrust for the health system in Nigeria, has encouraged quackery in the highly specialized field of medical technology.
This has become a major issue of concern to experts, especially at a time debates are raging over what passes for ethical or not in Assisted Reproduction among various groups of people.
This played up at a recent jaw-jaw session held in Lagos between medical experts, representatives of religious groups, media and others organized by the Bridge Clinic, one of the first few fertility treatment centres in Nigeria.
There, it was reiterated that a growing number of Nigerians, especially females are faced with the sad society-induced consequences of not being able to conceive and have babies naturally.
Managing Director, Bridge Clinic, Dr. Richardson Ajayi, noted many Nigerian couples are truly finding it difficult o have babies naturally, but added that the advent of IVF and similar techniques have brought succor to many people in the country as well.
He, however, said, “The absence of regulatory framework has made it difficult to ensure standards are kept, as some people, because they have the money to buy equipment would just go into fertility treatment.”
At the Society of Gynecologists of Nigeria (SOGON) conference held earlier in Abuja, Ajayi emphasized that all stakeholders must look at the state of regulation around the world and focus on ethical issues that might have to be considered in Nigeria before making proposals for deliberation.
At the Lagos session, he noted that “the United Kingdom and other countries already have resounding frameworks for the regulation of fertility treatment,” adding that Nigeria must begin to think in that light.
Meanwhile, in a collective resolution, experts, religious, leaders and others present at the Lagos meeting agree that IVF, is an ethical practice, although questions were raised by the religious groups
“The catholic does not support any act that would amount to termination of life and in IVF and similar procedures we do know that the unwanted embryos, which by all definition is already a life are destroyed to avoid multiple implantations are destroyed. This the catholic does not accept,” Catholic priest, Sylvester Nwutu, noted.
According to him, the catholic supports natural means of procreation because it fosters the God-given union between the couples involved.
Similarly, a Muslim cleric, Suleyman Fulani, noted that some of the procedures are accepted as medical exigencies by Islam so long it is not performed by the opposite sex in cases that require the patient baring intimate parts of the body.
It was difficult convincing attendees at that event that surrogacy, was indeed ethical as some of them believe, there are other means of achieving this.
The catholic cleric, just like an Anglican Priest at the event, thinks adoption is a good option for those desiring of babies, considering the huge tendency of parental crisis that could emanate.
Consultant Obstertrician and Gynaecologist (O&G), Professor Friday Okonofua, however, pointed out that surrogacy does not run foul of ethics.
“In surrogacy, the sperm and egg that achieved fertilization are actually from the couple and not the person carrying the baby. There is no genetic input from the surrogate mother at all,” Okonofua said.
It was, however, unanimously accepted at that meeting that IVF and ART for single women and same sex couples should not be encouraged, hence rated as unethical.
Consultant O&G at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Niyi Oduwole, said, “Agreed, westernization is catching up with us, but we should also be cautious to imbibe, as much as possible, the good things and not the bad ones. IVF for same sex, singles should not even be in our thinking otherwise it would be a lost fight to ever convince anyone that the process is ethical at all.”
In Anglican priest’s words, “we are raising a society of responsible people. Any woman who wants to have babies should just go and get married otherwise, should adopt a child.”
Mr. Emmanuel Ugoji of Ipas Nigeria, however, added another tilt to the arguments, when he said, “In all of this, choice should determines what action a couple takes. What if you are neither a Christian nor Muslim, and not guided by the respective laws and doctrine. What do you do when you are confronted with issues on childbearing in a country like Nigeria. The couple still must make a choice on what is good for them, although the eventual decision must be guided by adequate knowledge.”
IVF and Intra-Cystoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) are two commonly used procedures to achieve conception in couples with ICISI being specifically used to treat male factor infertility.
According to experts, one in every four couples in Nigeria may have difficulty achieving conception through natural means, highlighting the increasing problem of infertility. Most of these cases are caused by infections over time, of the female reproductive tract, tubal blockage or rupture as well as low sperm count and poor sperm quality, among others.
Although, infertility among many couples is perceived as mostly from the female, studies have shown that a growing number of males factor infertility, which is associated with various factors.
A case-control study of risk factors for male infertility in Nigeria by Friday Okonofua and four others Infertility is associated with various proxies of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and poor healthcare-seeking behavior for STIs in Nigerian men.
The study, which also featured in the Asian Journal of Andrology, found, in a multivariate analysis that male infertility was significantly associated with bacteria in semen cultures, self-reporting of previous use of traditional medications and moderate to heavy alcohol intake, but not with smoking and occupational types.
They also found that infertile men were significantly more likely than fertile men to experience penile discharge, painful micturition and genital ulcers. They are also less likely to seek treatment for these symptoms and more likely to seek treatment with informal sector providers.

Monday, May 2, 2011

More Nigerians Are Opting For IVF


Interview with Dr. Richardson Ajayi

When did you start operations?
Our IVF centre has been running in Lagos since 1999 and we got our first babies a year after. In 11 years, the process has produced over 1,200 babies. With a lot of experience from operating in Lagos and Port-Harcourt, we decided to come over to Kaduna because we got a lot of requests in the North from people, who had to come to Lagos. I think we should look at IVF in the same way we should look at anyone with a medical condition. If you have diabetes, you take insulin; if you have hypertension, you take anti-hypertensive; if you have kidney failure, you have a kidney transplant. If you cannot get pregnant by yourself, then you need help. In that case, we simply take the sperm from the man, the egg from the woman and put them together to form an embryo out of the body because the man and woman are not making the embryo by themselves. This could either be because the man’s sperm is not strong enough or there is a blockage in the tube preventing the sperm and eggs from meeting. It could also be that the woman is not producing enough eggs or has fibroid within the uterus. What IVF does is to reproduce the conditions within the woman’s body out of the body so that the eggs will seem like they are inside the body and continue to develop.

What is your assessment of the society’s attitude to IVF?
I think there is a tremendous acceptance. As I said, it’s a medical problem and once people are clear about medical conditions, like any other medical problem, they look for help and ways of treating them. In our Lagos clinic, we have an average of over 1,200 new patients every year. And since we started in Kaduna in January this year, we have had over 150 patients. I think the demand is there and increasing. The response is fair, perhaps because we are a specialist unit. We are not for everyone, but for those who need our help. The important thing is that it helps couples to remain together and have children of their own.

You have been involved in this for years, what factors have you identified as aiding or hampering IVF success in Nigeria?
IVF is not like medical operation that has an objective end. The objective is to put the sperm and the egg together. Sperm and egg forming embryo is not the same as pregnancy. So, we put the embryo in the woman. One out of every four times that we do this, we get pregnancy. After insertion, using the IVF process, the embryo must continue to divide and must connect with the woman to form placenta and draw life from the woman. All of these are not under the control of the IVF process. The IVF process ends when we put the sperm in the woman. But the process that leads to pregnancy is beyond us. But what we do is to put in our prayers that everything will work out.

Have you had any successful case in Kaduna since you started?
We are starting our first batch of treatment in Kaduna in April. And we are hoping to record about 30 per cent success rate.

You just said the success rate is 30 per cent. If it fails, what happens to the money paid?
We are not inhuman and unfriendly; we give a discount on subsequent cycles.

What are the cost implications if an individual is to go through the process?
At the moment, we are charging N450,000 here in Kaduna. But in Lagos and Port-Harcourt, we charge N600,000 and above. Obviously, it is because the equipment and managing the units are very expensive.

What have you identified as the causes of impotence in our society?
Society has changed; social demography has changed. The age girls begin to have sexual intercourse is lower; many had multiple sexual partners before they got married and sexually transmitted diseases are much more common.

SOURCE: THENEWS.COM