Safe sex can reduce infertility – Expert

A fertility consultant, Dr Ifeoluwa Oyetunji, on Wednesday said practising safe- sex, avoiding alcohol, smoking and stress and maintaining a healthy living could improve fertility rates in men and women.

Oyetunji of Nordica Fertility Centre, Ikoyi, said this on the sideline of a media training and workshop in Lagos.

She defined infertility as the inability of a married woman to get pregnant following frequent sexual intercourse with her husband for at least a year.

She said that infertility damages were mostly irreversible but could be reduced by taking proper precaution.

“It is a common problem in Nigeria,’’ she said.

Oyetunji, quoting the World Health Organisation, said that up to six per cent cases of infertility in Africa were caused by genital tract infections which include: sexually transmitted infection, unsafe abortion and post-delivery infections.

She said, “Nordica Centre carried out a study of 1,115 infertile women, about 60 per cent or 681of them, had problems inside their wombs while 338 women had scars inside their wombs.

“Female infertility, male infertility or a combination of both affects millions of couples in the country, with an estimated 10 per cent to 18 per cent of the couples having problems with getting pregnant or having a successful delivery.

“Low sperm-count among men may account for 30 per cent of infertility while blocked tubes among females may account for another 30 per cent.

“Combined factors caused by both genders may account for another 30 per cent while the remaining 10 per cent caused by unexplained medical issues.”

The unexplained medical challenges were usually responsible for many supposedly infertile couples conceiving without treatment, she said.

“After trying to unsuccessfully for two years, about 95 percent of such couples will conceive successfully,” Oyetunji said.

She said that implications of infertility include: anxiety, marital disharmony, divorce, not attending social events, pressure from in-laws, fiends, society and low self-esteem.

She said, “Fertility evaluation through semen analysis, menstruation, blood sample for ovarian reserve testing, baseline ultra sound, laparoscopy, sonohysterogram and hysteroscopy can help couples to know the causes of infertility in them.”

The consultant, however, said that there were many available treatments for both genders depending on the causes of infertility in the individual.

She said that the treatments include, “surgery, assisted reproductive technology (ART), intrauterine insemination, intacytoplasmic morphologically (IMSI), fertilisation failed vf cycles, physiological intracytoplasmic sperm injection, oocyte donation, sperm donation, laced assisted hatching, freezing of sperm or eggs (cryopreservation), freezing of embryo, surrogacy, and sex selection.”

She advised couples on the waiting list to guard against stress, unhealthy lifestyles, unhealthy sex practices and unnecessary surgeries.

(NAN)

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