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Why many Nigerians were experiencing Infertility–Experts



Gynaecologists and other medical experts have revealed the reason behind the increasing number of Nigerians experiencing infertility.

The experts revealed this at the 2024 Fertility Conference, held in Lagos on Saturday .

The annual event, themed “Infertility – Need for Knowledge and Early Intervention,” was organized by the Parah Family Foundation (PFF).

The lead speaker, Prof. Preye Fiebai, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the University of Port Harcourt, highlighted ignorance and lack of awareness as major factors contributing to the rise in infertility cases. He noted that many Nigerian men were unaware that the ability to ejaculate did not equate to being fertile.

According to Prof. Fiebai, research indicates that 20-45% of women in Nigeria are infertile, but often, the cause of infertility in marriages is not the women. The research breakdown shows that 40% of infertility cases are due to male factors, 40% to female factors, 15% to combined male and female factors, and 5% are unexplained.

Prof. Fiebai listed causes of infertility in men, including 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.

Prof. 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.

Dr. Kemi Ailoje, MD of Lifeline Fertility Clinic, and Rev. 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.

In her welcome address, conference convener, Princess Dayo Odukoya described the infertility rates and causes as “alarming.” She emphasized 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 in order to eradicate ignorance, the misguided myths and social stigma associated with delayed fertility in our society.

“The choice of the theme for this year 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 need for a support system on this journey and that is where Parah Family comes in.
” The rate of infertility and the causes are alarming such that it requires a continued education that would enable couples undergoing the challenges to speak out on time and seek solution early in marriage rather than wait until later.”, she said

At the conclusion of the conference, the PFF offered two free IVF treatments and one free fertility investigation to three participating couples.

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