Nigerian couples challenged by infertility have been urged to shun the practice of going to quacks and charlatans but to always seek the counsel of certified fertility specialists and experienced medical professionals that abound in the country.
A renowned Translational Medicine Scientist, Dr Olaleke Fasasi, who disclosed this in a chat, said it is only through the professional intervention of competent fertility experts that effective solutions to infertility issues can be procured.
Fasasi, an experienced Senior Andrologist/Embryologist, and the Managing Director/CEO, Director of Embryology Services, Omega Golden Fertility Centre, Lagos, who harped on the importance of proper investigation and evaluation in infertility treatment, called for more intensive public education and awareness in the area of infertility treatment options in Nigeria.
His words: “First and foremost, it is the desire of every married couple to have a baby. If husband and wife live together and have sex regularly three to four times in a week and in six months they don’t get what they desire, especially when the wife is above 37 years of age, they should seek help.
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“The couple should also seek help if they do it for a year when the woman is in her late 20s or early 30s and if they don’t get their desired conception or fail to have a baby during that one year period. Such a couple should team up and advance to a competent fertility clinic.”
Fasasi, who argued that there is no longer any shame in seeking treatment for infertility anywhere in the world, admonished competing institutions involved in infertility treatment including religious houses and personnel that are non-specialists in fertility treatment to always refer patients that present with cases outside their scope.
“If you have malaria, headache, stomach pain and other ailments, and you can go to see the doctor, why should you have problems with going to the right physician?
“If you identify a problem with a patient and and you refer immediately, rather than keeping the patient in your medical centre that is not fertility-related or that is not currently practicing infertility management, it harms the patient.
“When it comes to delayed conception after six to 12 calendar months as the case may be, depending on the age of the woman, you must visit a fertility expert for investigation and evaluation.
“The pain, anguish, and torture is far reduced and the patients can get on the track of parenthood as easy as possible. The non-experts should let the medical issues be handled by the experts, so that most of the challenges will be properly sorted out,” he asserted.
Urging couples that have successfully undergone assisted reproduction to be open with their stories, he explained that it would promote acceptance of treatment while reducing stigma.
“So if we can be more open, just the way we tell people we went to the hospital for malaria and typhoid treatment, if we take infertility treatment with such mindset, I think the whole challenge will be way behind us.
“Testimonials by successful couples is like an indirect advert to other intending couples and this way, the industry continues to thrive. Unfortunately people don’t disclose the treatment that was done, and don’t discuss about the fertility clinic they visited.
“In the Western world, you don’t have to preach the entire gospel before people buy into having treatment because the awareness is all over the place and people are conversant with the internet.
“They can search for anything and they know what to expect, so when they come to you, you spend less time trying to convince the converted.”
The physician noted that during investigation for infertility, both the man and the woman have to be evaluated. He regretted that in this part of the world, the majority think that infertility is a woman thing.
“However, globally for over 10 years now, the paradigm has shifted to the men. More men are being diagnosed as the cause of infertility.
“When a couple is evaluated, and the doctor says both partners are fine, that is at the basic level at the general practice, by the time they go into the infertility diagnosis, they will then unravel in detail the reason for the delay conception in couples that was otherwise stated to be okay in the general practice or medical centre.
“Evaluating the couple involves discreetly checking the sperm of the man and checking his blood for investigations.
“The general doctor is not the reproductive expert, and cannot dig into areas requiring advanced investigation which might not be offered in major hospitals except in fertility clinics.
“Omega Golden Fertility comes as a new brand to join the force to put smiles on the faces of people, however, we come from another angle, where in we serve as extra strength to the industry in assisting couples to have access to affordable services that would enable them start and complete their families.
“Our fertility treatment professionals are technology driven, and with such advanced strength and knowledge and skills around here, diagnosis and treatment of male factor infertility are achievable,” he avowed.