By Alex Enebeli
A fertility expert, Dr Uchenna Ayogu, has urged couples who find it difficult in making their own babies to try In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
Ayogu, Chief Medical Director, St. Stephen Specialist Hospital, Achara Layout, Enugu, made the call on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.
According to him, couples with primary and secondary infertility can now make use of the advanced technology with the help of experts to have their own children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IVF involves sperm and ovary extraction, fertilisation and implantation inside a woman’s womb under expert’s monitoring.
Ayogu noted that with the culture in many societies, child-bearing became very important and the trauma being faced when couples are childless requires urgent solutions.
He regretted that much awareness had not been given to IVF in the country as health education was not publicised and most couples dwell in self-help.
“A lot of factors lead to this; like pressures from in-laws, family members and friends.
“The herbal and prayer houses are not always the solution, but I want to assure couples that scientifically IVF has saved a lot of families,” Ayogu said.
The doctor explained that it is viable for women under the age of 35, but fails mostly for women above the age of 55.
He also said that the money involved had made it inaccessible for couples in Nigeria.
“The procedure requires money, which only family who are financially buoyant can afford. It takes up to N1.5 million to 1.6 million to carry out.
“The process sometimes fail because of inadequacy of the pelvic and resistance of the uterine walls.
“We make sure those indications that would make zygote survive are detected before implanting.
“There is period one is supposed to do that and once it passed, it will not work because once fertilization occur, development begins,” he said.
Ayogu added that at 18, one could donate his or her sperm/egg to help couples finding it difficult to conceive, but frowned at people who do it for commercial purposes.
He explained further that it takes 34-36 weeks for IVF baby to mature for delivery.
“Once baby develop lungs and can survive out of the womb, we bring the baby out,” he said.
He, however, added that after undergoing IVF some lucky women could conceive naturally following the flushing of the fallopian tube.
NAN reports that the first IVF success was recorded on Nov.10, 1977, while the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in July 1978. (NAN)