Infertility: We are out to provide best treatment at affordable cost – Androcare
… STIs could cause blocked tubes for ladies
Couples with fertility challenges have been assured of being one step close to achieving success regarding the treatment of their infertility issues with a visit to Androcare Fertility Centre which produces quadruplets as its first set of babies.
Speaking to newsmen, the duo of
Dr. Adeleke Daramola, the Medical/Clinical Director and Dr. Charles Kolade, Gynaecologist/Chief Operating Officer of the centre located in Akowonjo-Lagos, revealed that the centre was the first Fertility and Andrology Laboratory in Nigeria.
Andrology is the medical specialty that deals with male health, particularly relating to the problems of the male reproductive system and urological problems that are unique to men.
Going round the facility, one can confirm that the centre has the ideal standard embryonic laboratory and state-of-the-art facilities to achieve desired results.
“It was a hub for advanced fertility screenings before it expanded its services to offer fertility treatments in Nigeria and the world at large.
As a result of our desire to bring latest innovations to fertility practice, we have organised a lot of workshops and seminars,We have also assisted doctors in providing fertility treatments to their clients.”
According to Kolade, the centre offers fertility laboratories services, advanced andrology screenings, gender selection, sperm genetics, sperm banking, karotyping, sperm donor programme, sperm preparation, In-vitro fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI), Pre-implantation Genetic and Diagnosis (PGD) among others.
Speaking further on the mission of the centre, he said they set out to achieve best result at a little cost and be the one and only IVF center providing quality services irrespective of level of income through team work, responsiveness
Integrity, empathy and confidentiality.
Daramola revealed that they assist couples challenged by infertility to have their own babies. They also teach other doctors and healthcare providers how to make babies in the laboratory.
We settled for this location of Akowonjo, a Lagos suburb, so as to make fertility treatment affordable to the common people.
The duo made it known that Androcare aimed at bringing IVF to the door steps of the average Nigerian. Six years ago, they began operations as the first and only fertility centre in Akowonjo, a Lagos suburb, by running advanced diagnostic tests.
“Androcare is a centre for those on the streets not only for the rich. Everybody should have access to quality care. “We know IVF is an expensive process. That is one of the reasons we are here. We want to help many people to find a way to enable them achieve results they desire.”
“We are one of the pioneers of training for healthcare providers interested in fertility medicine, we have things in place for them to be trained.”
Hence, there won’t be need for people to be traveling abroad for such trainings.
“Averagely 10 percent of Nigerian couples have issues with fertility and we lack enough doctors to cater for the problem, so we are helping to train doctors as that would make the work easier and enable everyone to have access to fertility treatment. “We give room for doctors that are skilled in these procedures but have no centre to do their treatment.”
“We are bringing fertility to the streets because there are couples that wait for years for a miracle to have babies because they cannot afford to pay for IVF.”
“We are trying to offer something that is cheap but also of quality standard.”
They advised couples that are having difficulty getting pregnant after trying for a year to seek for comprehensive medical investigations.
“There was this issue of unexplained infertility we had to deal with in which the man and wife would be okay, but never achieved conception.
But with the advent of a procedure known as Sperm Chromatin Assay Structure (SCSA), we were able to help out. It tells us the DNA make-up of sperm cells which means, it is possible for some men to have normal sperm cells, yet due to the abnormal DNA they carry, they are unable to fertilize the eggs or they are able to fertilize the eggs but the embryos come out in a poor fashion.
“This procedure helps many couples to know the next step to take, whether to go straight for IVF treatment or for Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection, ICSI, which is an advanced treatment for low sperm count and other problems with sperms produced by the man himself or donor sperm. “This procedure has opened doors and made couples smile. Knowledge is power, so most men that feel that just having normal sperm count is enough should not just relax.” Dr. Daramola shed more light on the issue.
However, he noted that prevention is better and cheaper than cure, as most cases of infertility can be prevented with the right knowledge.
According to him, the commonest causes of infertility in Nigeria are blocked fallopian tubes in women and low sperm count in men.
“This problem of low sperm count is increasing yearly, and the causes are largely unknown. The issue of blocked tubes arising from pelvic infections that are not properly treated is very common too.”
“So if young ladies can take preventive measures and know the implications of blocked tubes, it will help a great deal. And that is why we have been going to schools to educate our youths on fertility health.”
“Also, men do have Varicose, enlarged veins in their scrotum which starts from childhood, and if not detected early and corrected, it could lead to zero sperm count in future.”
Last year, Androcare in collaboration with another NGO organized a seminar for teenagers. For the males, we taught them to do a self-testicular examination and for the women, we encouraged breast self-examination. Participants were taught the common symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Infections, STIs too.”
“This is why mothers should check their sons’ testicles when bathing them. If the testes are not in their normal position by the time a boy is 4 years old, he may be infertile for life. “The problem must be fixed before he attains age of 4. This and other abnormalities happen over a period of time but can be corrected when detected early.”
Explaining further on the issue of blocked Fallopian tubes commonly called toilet infections, Kolade stated that medically, there is nothing like toilet infection. “We know it more as STIs.”
“A woman can have vaginal discharge that is whitish or yellowish, with or without odour. There could be accompanying pelvic pain, in the left lower side of the abdomen. There could also be itching and discomfort. These are signs of infection and it is important for ladies to properly get treated when they see such signs.
“Go for vaginal swab, do microscopic culture and consult a doctor to treat the infection properly so that there is no recurrence. Maintain proper hygiene, avoid STIs and obey the ABCs of prevention of STIs, that is, A for abstinence, B for be faithful and C for utilising condoms if you cannot abstain,” Daramola advised.
Speaking further, Kolade said one of the drivers of female infertility is pelvic infection or infection after pregnancy.
“Because in this part of the world, abortion is illegal, we have many cases of unsafe abortion thus predisposing people to pelvic infection.
“If there is an infection, it could make things complicated. Infection generally is a big problem for fertility for men and women. “If there is abnormal DNA, we put the man involved on drugs to see if there could be some form of repair, but there is no particular drug that treats low spem count. However, ICSI helps.”
On whether there are factors in the environment that influence declining fertility rates in Nigeria, Kolade stated: “What I can say is that in 2003, myself and a few colleagues did a study, we compared sperm parameters in a particular IVF unit for 1,000 people and compared with sperm parameters for 1,000 people in 2013 and we discovered that the parameters were worse. The sperm counts were worse, the motility worse, morphorlogy worse and fertilisation rates worse. “The only thing different apart from climatic change is that our lifestyle is getting more westernised. There’s more of polished food and canned food being consumed. Even people in the Western world are experiencing the same thing.”
According to Kolade, recent activity showed that 1 out of 4 people between 25 and 40 years old, has abnormal sperm parameters in Europe. “And that’s why they are trying to talk about organic meals now. Because our lifestyle is getting westernized, it is gradually affecting our fertility.”
Speaking further, Androcare has a plan to help couples that have undergone failed IVF cycles but want to try again. They give discounts in such cases saying failures help to attain success and also encourage preventive means. They observed that some people really don’t need to do IVF if they can do the right thing and can prevent themselves from infections.
Key messages to take home include the fact that some Fertility problems facing couples in marriage are really preventable if individuals could pay close attention to their reproductive health and protect against STIs.
What most teenagers usually referred to as toilet infections are really sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which in the female could sometimes be herpes, gonorrhoeal and others STIs, which was contacted but either not treated at all or properly treated.
They advised that such symptoms should be properly treated with the right Antibiotics and equally maintain cleanliness to prevent future fertility problems.
For young ones to always remember the simple. ABC of Life Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condomisation as STIs could cause blocked tubes for life.
In addition, they warned that unsafe delivery could lead to infections during delivery and result into tubes’ blockage.
The same infections caused by Caesarian-Section can equally lead to blocked tubes. Some other causes are Biking and use of steroids.
As parents especially mothers, we must prevent Varicose by checking from childhood when one or two of the testes do not descend into the scrotum sac in our male babies, which if not treated before age of four, it leads to low sperm count in near future.