Male Infertility Increasingly Alarming in Nigeria, Says Nordica

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Martins Ifijeh

Nordica Fertility Centre has raised alarm over the increasingly prevalent rate of male infertility in Nigeria, saying it has now surpassed female infertility in the country.

Speaking during the ‘Open Fertility Forum’ held in Lagos recently, and organised by the Fertility Awareness Advocacy Initiative, in collaboration with the Nordica Fertility Centre, a consultant with Nordica, Dr. Oluseun Saanu said while studies have shown that 40 per cent of the causes for infertility is linked to females, that of males was tilting towards 50 per cent.

He said men need to come out more to address infertility issues rather than the perceived belief that it is a woman’s problem.

Saanu said: “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.

“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,” he said.

He said there are a lot of factors contributing to male infertility, adding that lifestyle, types of jobs, among others plays a huge role.

The medical doctor said: “Lifestyle 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.”

He said but with the help of assisted reproduction, which includes Invito Fertilisation (IVF), low sperm count can be adequately treated, adding that some men may only have blocked tubes preventing sperm from been released. “Through IMSI or PICSI, pregnancy can be achieved”, he added.

On his part, an Embryologist with Nordica Fertility Centre, Ayelehin Ibukun, who spoke on how to determine the sex of a baby, said between couples, the male determines the sex of the baby, and not the woman, as usually perceived in the society.

He said: “The male and female has 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.”

While he acknowledged that people want certain sex for reasons, including for gender balancing, social reasons, cultural reasons or medical reasons, he said NIFTY test, which is presently being done in Nordica can determine the sex of a baby at the very early stage.

He also stated that through pre-implantation screening, a couple can know whether the sex of the baby even before the woman 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 said.

A member of FAAI, Ebenezer Soetan, while narrating how he eventually had his child after 19 years of marriage, said his first visit to Nordica resulted in pregnancy, and that he was glad he took the decision.

“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,” he said.