Nordica Fertility Centre recently reported that the rates of male infertility in Nigeria are growing at an alarming rate. Even though infertility has long been considered a ‘female issue,” male infertility has now surpassed female infertility in the country
Dr. Olugbenga Saanu spoke at the ‘2 in 1 Depth Fertility Forum’ held recently in Lagos, organised by the Fertility Awareness Advocacy Initiative. He stated that current studies show that 40% of the country’s infertility is linked to the woman, while male infertility is now responsible for 50% of cases.
Dr. Saanu urged men to be more open and address infertility. “Studies have shown that sperm count is dropping every day, and this is already a concern to us. In the 1930s, men produced between 300 to 500 million per mil of sperm count, but now what we see is around 50 million per mil of sperm count.”
He then cited the results of a ten-year study
“To bring this home, Nordica Fertility Centre did a study which spanned over 10 years. The study showed that in 2003, average men had 34.6 per cent while in 2013 it declined to 24 per cent. Concentration also moved from 20 million per mil to 15 million per mil.”
Dr. Saanu stressed that there are many factors at play when it comes to male infertility, including lifestyle, stress, diet, and types of jobs. “Lifestyle factors like smoking of cigarette, marijuana and shisha, as well as excessive intake of alcohol can be fingered. Also, driving for long hours, and placing your phones in your trouser pockets could cause radiation, which has also been fingered to cause low sperm count.”
Thankfully, couples these days have many assisted reproduction options, including In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF). Low sperm count can also be treated by assessing blocked tubes that might be preventing the release of sperm.
During the conference, Ayelehin Ibukun Ebenezer Oshoetan, embryologist with Nordica Fertility Centre, clarified that it is the male who determines the sex of the baby
This counters the common belief that it is the woman’s egg that determines sex.
He stated, “The male and female have 23 pairs of chromosomes. The last pair is XY for male and XX for female. If the male brings X then the pregnancy will result in a baby girl, but if he brings in the Y, the pregnancy will result in a boy child. So, it shouldn’t be pushed to the woman to determine the sex of a child. It is what the man brings the woman delivers.”
He offered the NIPSY test, which is presently done at Nordica, as a way to determine the sex of an embryo at a very early stage. People want to choose the sex of their child for a wide array of reasons, and now a couple can do so before the woman even gets pregnant. “In fertility clinics, one can now check whether the chromosomes will end as a boy or a girl, and all these can be done before the woman gets pregnant.”
He also stressed that IVF babies are just as normal and healthy as other kids
“Do not believe the myth that IVF babies are not normal. My son is 10 years old, and already in secondary school. He is the brightest in his class.”
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