Infertility refers to the inability of a couple to have a child after a year of unprotected sex. For years now, the problem of Infertility has been on the rise and this had led to why divorce is on the high side in Nigeria. Most times, the woman is often stigmatized, called several names and blamed for not being able to bear children not minding the man who is most times the cause of it all.
A recent survey revealed that male infertility accounts for 40–50% of infertility. It affects approximately 7% of all men. Male infertility is commonly due to deficiencies in the semen, and semen quality is used as a surrogate measure of male fecundity. It is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm production or sperm transport. Through medical testing, the doctor may be able to find the cause of the problem. About two-thirds of infertile men have a problem with making sperm in the testes.
The challenge of male infertility has been so much underrated because knowing who a “real man” is, is far beyond appearance or face value. Recently, Nigeria’s most populous church, the Redeemed Christian Church of God gave an order that intending couples who wish to get married at the church most undergo genital examination so as to ascertain the ability of the couples to procreate before conducting such marriages because of the rampant cases of male infertility amongst married couples which pre-marriage counseling alone does not deal with.
It is on the premise and other relevant cases that made the CEO of Nordica Fertility Center, Dr Abayomi Ajayi speak to journalists at his Ikoyi office on the possible causes of infertility amongst men, how it can be prevented and treated when issues arise in other to reduce the risk of divorce and complete family circle through procreation.
He noted that “the idea is for men to come out early to be tested because it is a worldwide problem, there are so many advancements in the search for the solution to male infertility and the advancements are available here in Nigeria, especially at Nordica Fertility Center. “It is your fault when you are going through such a difficult period as this and you don’t seek knowledge, he said. Speaking on the fear of Nigeria’s population which is currently on the high side overtaking that of the United States of America by 2050 and becoming the 3rd most populous country in the world, he said: “going to the root cause of why people have many children in this part of the world, our poor health care facilities is the problem.
“It’s been seen that anywhere the quality of healthcare services increase, the number childbirth decreases because people are worried about the number of children that will survive after birth. But when they know that there are quality healthcare services they raise lesser number of children.
“Our sperm studies results have shown that the early embryonic development relies on the quality of the sperm and therefore men who have bad quality sperm can have their wives miscarry even when they get pregnant. But there are things now that are being done to identify such.
“Some men carry higher number of aneuploidy (abnormal chromosomes) in their sperm cells and therefore their embryos are more likely to have aneuploidy. There are tests that can be done to discover that as well and all these things are available here in Nigeria at Nordica Fertility Center.
“There are some studies that we are also doing about DNA fragmentation index; that, we don’t know whether it has any influence on life birth but we know from the lab that it has influence whether the embryo can get to the fibril or not; or the number of embryos that can get to the fibrilthat way we have seen that but we are yet to publish it. But they are also some of the things that we are looking at because we know that this male infertility is a big challenge and it seems as if it will probably get worse because we don’t understand it yet; some of the things that have been incriminated are ridiculous in the sense you can never avoid them, up to toothpaste has been incriminated so we won’t brush our teeth again or what?
“So there are so many things now that the world is confused about male factor, it’s becoming so confusing now that we don’t know. What can we do? We can only treat for now and that’s what we are trying to do. All the methods that we have anywhere in the world are also available here. We also need to help people realize that a lot of stories about sperm boosters all over the place are untrue. It does not exist, it is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard, I think it’s only in Nigeria, all of them are food additives.
“Sperm is not only meant to fertilize egg, it is also meant to help the embryo develop in the early stages and that’s the genetic composition of the sperm is so important. Fertilization is about exchange of genetic materials so if the genetic composition of sperm is warped, what you are going to have is a warped embryo and that’s why now it’s possible to check the genetic composition of sperms and the embryo itself. Those are the things that can be done here. And we know that the poorer the sperm, the more likelihood that there will be some generic mistakes.
“Another possibility which is very common but can happen is that when a man has poor sperm count or no sperm count at all, you must always look at the testes because sometimes it could be that he has a tumor in the testes so it’s an opportunity for you to look at the testes and be sure that there are no tumors in it. Because that is probably alone hanging, if you can get rid of that tumor, some of them will begin to produce.”