• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Male infertility surges in Nigeria as 3 in 10 couples struggle to conceive

Bridge Clinic warns of rise in male infertility

As three in ten Nigerian couples struggle to conceive, Bridge Clinic, an assisted reproductive centre with a 25-year history of helping families, has warned that male infertility is becoming increasingly prevalent.

More men are struggling to produce potent sperm partly due to poor diet, recreational drug use, and other environmental factors, reducing the chances of conception.

“We are finding out that in a lot of couples coming in, male infertility is on the increase. Studies are going into this to find out. Even for young men in their 20s, who voluntarily want to be sperm donors, what they find out when they do their parameter is very scary,” Toyin Ajayi, medical director at Bridge Clinic said.

To overcome this obstacle, Bridge Clinic has adopted Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), a precise technique enabling the direct injection of sperm into eggs, improving fertilization rates, conception, and birth prospects.

ICSI circumvents the necessity for sperm to possess exceptional swimming abilities, allowing suboptimal swimmers to attain fertilization via this advanced technology.

Previously, conventional In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) relied primarily on collecting eggs and sperm, hoping for natural fertilisation.

Yet, weak sperm were often unable to traverse sufficient distances to interact with the egg.

Since its inception in 1999, Bridge Clinic has facilitated the birth of around 3,000 children.

Sunny Ekhalume, managing director at Bridge Clinic, detailed the organization’s commitment to skill development, partnering with international experts to deliver cutting-edge reproductive healthcare services.

Embryologists, nurses, and fertility specialists receive specialized training in reproductive medicine, while research projects and clinical trials are conducted to better comprehend local challenges.

However, the clinic confronts the challenge of retaining trained staff members amidst the escalating scarcity of healthcare workers fueled by migration abroad.

To address this, Bridge Clinic has extended its operations to London, providing access to an extensive network of international experts to support its Nigerian operations.

Ekhalume said that this endeavor will also furnish a broader stage for the education of Nigerian employees, ultimately enhancing holistic care and a supportive atmosphere for individuals and couples undergoing fertility treatment.

“Our first set of twins celebrated their 24th birthday sometime this year. We have babies conceived at Bridge Clinic, now at various ages of life scattered all around the world and doing well. Our journey has been marked by innovation, excellence, and a steadfast commitment to our patients’ well-being,” Ekhalumesaid.

“As we look ahead, we remain dedicated to advancing reproductive healthcare and empowering individuals and couples to build the families they desire.”

Additionally, Bridge Clinic participates in a public-private partnership with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, subsidising the cost of IVF procedures, thus rendering high-quality, affordable fertility treatments accessible to impoverished Nigerians.

Over a thousand couples have benefited from this program, and many have welcomed children as a consequence.