• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Why more Nigerians are experiencing infertility — Experts

Why more Nigerians are experiencing infertility — Experts

…Say men responsible for 40% of infertility cases

Gynaecologists and other medical experts have cited ignorance and the lack of awareness as major contributory factors to the rising incidence of infertility among Nigerians.

The experts spoke at the 2024 Fertility Conference, held recently in Lagos. The annual event, themed, “Infertility – Need for knowledge and early intervention,” was organised by the Parah Family Foundation (PFF).

The lead speaker, Preye Fiebai, a professor and specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist from the University of Port Harcourt, also noted that Nigerian men were unaware that the ability to ejaculate did not equate to being fertile.

According to Fiebai, research indicates that 20-45 percent of women in Nigeria are infertile, but often, the cause of infertility in marriages is not the women. The research breakdown shows that 40 percent of infertility cases are due to male factors, 40 percent to female factors, 15 percent to combined male and female factors, and five percent are unexplained.

Fiebai listed causes of infertility in men to include erectile dysfunction, impotence, decreased libido, psychogenic issues, endocrinopathies, age, and overweight, among others. For women, he pointed to cervical factors, uterine factors, diseases of the fallopian tubes, and problems with ovulation.

Also, Kehinde Habeeb Tijani, a professor of surgery from the University of Lagos, added factors such as age, weight, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to radiation, and constant exposure of the testicles to high temperatures as contributors to infertility.

Kemi Ailoje, managing director, Lifeline Fertility Clinic, and Tony Akinyemi, concurred with the other speakers and offered various remedies to overcome infertility. They also advised women over the age of 54 to avoid aspiring for pregnancy due to the associated risks.

On her part, Dayo Odukoya, the conference convener, described the infertility rates and causes as “alarming.” She emphasised the need for ongoing awareness to encourage couples experiencing infertility to seek solutions early in their marriages rather than delaying.

“The foundation’s primary objective is to share vital information, enlighten and provide the relevant support system for families undergoing fertility challenges to eradicate ignorance, the misguided myths and social stigma associated with delayed fertility in our society.

“The choice of the theme for this year’s conference; infertility- needs for knowledge and early intervention; is to further reiterate the importance of continued awareness, and knowledge about the challenges of infertility and more importantly, action to be taken as early as possible if not, it may cause further delays, especially in late marriage and aged women.

“The journey to parenthood is lonely and must not be threaded alone. There is a need for a support system on this journey and that is where the Parah Family comes in,” she said.