Infertility is a big problem in Nigeria today among many couples. If you and your partner are struggling to have a baby, you’re not alone. In Nigeria right now, many couples are believed to be infertile. Infertility has been defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples.
Infertility may result from an issue with either you or your partner, or a combination of factors that prevent pregnancy. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies that significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant.
A few days back, City People spoke to Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, a Fertility Doctor and he told City People what couples can do to get pregnant and have babies.
Why is infertility now so common among couples, we asked?
“God has really helped us in providing solution to many challenges expectant couples are facing. Now, in our centre here, as a couple; if you are SS, I mean if the man is SS and the woman is SS, we can make sure that you don’t have a Sickler baby or babies. Now, if you have 3 girls in the a family and you now want a boy or you have 3 boys, you now want a girl, we can do it. We can prevent you from having any down syndrome babies.”
“And I have also gone beyond that. In relation to your question, on why is Infertility now so common?
“Infertility is now common because it is a problem of Technology. When you develop technology, the waste product of technology causes Infertility and that is the area we are now working on. There are some things in the environment which are unknown to a man.”
“If you eat stock fish in essence, it has mercury and that mercy can damage the sperm cell or can cover the uterus and start causing miscarriage. Those who work in oil-producing area, or those who live there; the emission from the product also decrease sperm count and decrease ovulation, and people can be living with it without knowing. All these cosmestics we put in our body, some of them causes infertility. So, that is why infertility is on the high rise. If you put lap top on your lap, the heat emitted is affecting the scrotum and the sperm. Excess alcohol excess smoking, if you paint your house and you didn’t let it dry well before staying there, or those who work in the paint industry and don’t use masks, their sperm count will be low. So, that is the area we are now working on. We should prevent so that a new child that is been born today will not have to experience infertility. That is why we have also started a detox centre, where we can remove those toxic from you before you have a baby. If you want to have a baby as a husband and a wife, it is now known that you must treat your body the way you will clean up your house when you are expecting a visitor. If you are expecting a guest, the first thing you do is to clean your house, to make it ready.”
“So, you are expecting a baby from the Almighty, to come and stay inside you for 9 months, you have to clean your body.”
What about the men, what are they supposed to do?
“They are supposed to clean their body too. They are supposed to make sure that they eat good food, to clean their intestine and skin, to clean their lungs, by so doing, the sperm cell will also be clean. It’s good to clean them out. When you clean your system and you take some supplement, like Omega 3, which will be given in detox centre, then the sperm will clean so that the baby will be very clean. The enzyme will be clean healthy and smart.
What are the women supposed to do we asked?
“The same thing. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) with most of the Global Fertility Centre; we met and we looked at all these factors that I have talked about in the environment and we concluded that anybody who wants to have a baby, a baby that is going to be good and healthy should prepare for it. At least, 2 months before you have that baby begin to change your life style, lose some weight. When a woman looses weight, then when the baby is in her womb, the weight she would be carrying will not be so much. So, there will be no blood pressure. So, she can carry her baby in good health”.
Prof’s view are similar to the analysis of Mayo Clinic. According to Mayoclinic, the main symptom of Infertility is not getting pregnant. Sometimes, a woman with infertility may have irregular or absent menstrual periods. In some cases, a man with infertility may have some signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth or sexual function.
Most couples will eventually conceive, with or without treatment.
Experts say you need to see a doctor about Infertility if you have been trying regularly to get pregnant for at least one year. It is always adviced that Women should talk with a doctor earlier, however, if they: •Are age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer, •Are over age 40, •Have irregular or absent periods, •Have very painful periods, •Have known fertility problems, •Have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, •Have had multiple miscarriages, •Have undergone treatment for cancer, Men should talk to a doctor if they have:, •A low sperm count or other problems with sperm, •A history of testicular, prostate or sexual problems, •Undergone treatment for cancer, •Small testicles or swelling in the scrotum, •Others in your family with infertility problems
All of the steps during Ovulation and Fertilization need to happen correctly in order to get pregnant. Sometimes the issues that cause infertility in couples are present at birth, and sometimes they develop later in life.
Infertility causes can affect one or both partners. In general:
•In about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the man
•In about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the woman
•In the remaining cases, there are issues with both the man and the woman, or no cause can be found
The problem could be with the Man which is called Male Infertility. What are the causes? It may include:
•Abnormal sperm production or function due to undescended testicles, genetic defects, health problems such as diabetes, or infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, mumps or HIV. Enlarged veins in the testes (varicocele) also can affect the quality of sperm.
•Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation; certain genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis; structural problems, such as a blockage in the testicle; or damage or injury to the reproductive organs.
•Overexposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides and other chemicals, and radiation. Cigarette smoking, alcohol, marijuana, anabolic steroids, and taking medications to treat bacterial infections, high blood pressure and depression also can affect fertility. Frequent exposure to heat, such as in saunas or hot tubs, can raise body temperature and may affect sperm production.
•Damage related to cancer and its treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy. Treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely.
And the problem could be from the Woman. And that is called Female Infertility. The causes of female infertility may include:
•Ovulation disorders, which affect the release of eggs from the ovaries. These include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Hyperprolactinemia, a condition in which you have too much prolactin — the hormone that stimulates breast milk production — also may interfere with ovulation. Either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) can affect the menstrual cycle or cause infertility. Other underlying causes may include too much exercise, eating disorders or tumors.
•Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including abnormalities with the cervix, polyps in the uterus or the shape of the uterus. Noncancerous (benign) tumors in the uterine wall (uterine fibroids) may cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes or stopping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
•Fallopian tube damage or blockage, often caused by inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, endometriosis or adhesions.
•Endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, may affect the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
•Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause), when the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40. Although the cause is often unknown, certain factors are associated with early menopause, including immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome or carriers of Fragile X syndrome, and radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
•Pelvic adhesions, bands of scar tissue that bind organs that can form after pelvic infection, appendicitis, endometriosis or abdominal or pelvic surgery.
•Cancer and its treatment. Certain cancers — particularly reproductive cancers — often impair female fertility. Both radiation and chemotherapy may affect fertility.
Many of the Risk factors for both male and female infertility are the same. They include:
•Age. Women’s fertility gradually declines with age, especially in the mid-30s, and it drops rapidly after age 37. Infertility in older women is likely due to the lower number and quality of eggs, and can also be due to health problems that affect fertility. Men over age 40 may be less fertile than younger men.
•Tobacco use. Smoking tobacco or marijuana by either partner may reduce the likelihood of pregnancy. Smoking also reduces the possible effectiveness of fertility treatment. Miscarriages are more frequent in women who smoke. Smoking can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and a low sperm count in men.
•Alcohol use. For women, there’s no safe level of alcohol use during conception or pregnancy. Alcohol use may contribute to infertility. For men, heavy alcohol use can decrease sperm count and motility.
•Being overweight. Among American women, an inactive lifestyle and being overweight may increase the risk of infertility. For men, sperm count also may be affected by being overweight.
•Being underweight. Women at risk of fertility problems include those with eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, and those who follow a very low-calorie or restrictive diet.
•Exercise issues. A lack of exercise contributes to obesity, which increases the risk of infertility. Less often, ovulation problems may be associated with frequent strenuous, intense exercise in women who are not overweight.
Although most types of infertility aren’t preventable in men, these strategies may help:
•Avoid drug and tobacco use and drinking too much alcohol, which may contribute to male infertility.
•Avoid high temperatures found in hot tubs and hot baths, as they can temporarily affect sperm production and motility.
•Avoid exposure to industrial or environmental toxins, which can affect sperm production.
•Limit medications that may impact fertility, both prescription and nonprescription drugs. Talk with your doctor about any medications you take regularly, but don’t stop taking prescription medications without medical advice.
•Exercise moderately. Regular exercise may improve sperm quality and increase the chances for achieving a pregnancy.
For women, a number of strategies may increase the chances of becoming pregnant:
•Quit smoking. Tobacco has many negative effects on fertility, not to mention your general health and the health of a fetus. If you smoke and are considering pregnancy, quit now.
•Avoid alcohol and street drugs. These substances may impair your ability to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. Don’t drink alcohol or use recreational drugs, such as marijuana, if you’re trying to get pregnant.
•Limit caffeine. Women trying to get pregnant may want to limit caffeine intake. Ask your doctor for guidance on the safe use of caffeine.
•Exercise moderately. Regular exercise is important, but exercising so intensely that your periods are infrequent or absent can affect fertility.
•Avoid weight extremes. Being overweight or underweight can affect your hormone production and cause infertility.