Couples who are having infertility challenges have been asked not to keep quiet but to seek medical help early before it gets more complicated.

There are options that are open for them but the longer they wait, it gets more complicated.

One option that they can explore in this age is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and an expert in that field, Chika Ofoegbuliwe, said two to three of every five couples counselled had issues with infertility. 

Ofoegbuliwe, is the IVF Coordinator with the George’s Memorial Medical Centre, Lagos.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of a reproductive health seminar in Lagos that the cause of infertility might not be identified without proper medical examination.

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The expert said that the longer couples wait, the more complicated the treatment options might be.

“Some people desire to have children which they cannot get naturally.

“So, the only option left for them is to seek help through advanced reproductive therapy.

“As a woman grows older, the quality of her eggs drops. There may also be a problem with the man’s sperm; it may be too few or there may be no sperm.

“Even, if they decide to have an IVF, the nature and quality of the eggs and sperm determines a good embryo, that has more chances of survival,” she said.

According to the expert, many men don’t bother to go for checkups because they have normal erections during sexual intercourse without knowing that they cannot produce sperm.

“We have also found out that a lot of men have problems. You know a man ejaculates, but sometime it’s just semen without sperm cells.

“There is a high evidence of low sperm count, even for young donors that come here,” she said.

Ofoegbuliwe said that another reason why people don’t seek help early was because of the stigma associated with infertility.

She urged couples with infertility challenges to share their problems with others that have the same problem to know what they were doing about it.

The expert expressed displeasure that many people who successfully had children through IVF don’t disclose how they got help.

She also said that people with success stories could help by telling others how they received help, instead of just saying they prayed. 

The seminar organised by the medical centre was entitled: “Infertilinfo’’.

Infertility is the inability of a sexually active couple to achieve pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex.

IVF, which is one of the treatment options available, is an assisted conception technique where an egg is fertilised with sperm externally in a laboratory.

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The embryo (fertilised egg) is then injected into the woman’s uterus after three to five days of fertilisation for incubation.

The factors which may lead to a couple opting for IVF includes, advanced maternal age, blocked tubes, endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, low or no sperm count and erection challenges.

Ofoegbuliwe said that many people were going through the challenges of infertility without knowing what to do.

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