- May 9, 2018
- Posted by: Dr. Nnamdi Elenwoke
- Category: Diseases and Conditions
When Mrs. Abc (name withheld) went to see Dr. Odey, a gynaecologist with experience in Infertility, she said to herself:
“let me try my luck once again”.
For seven years she has been tagged barren by her community and had seen various doctors.
“You have to trust me and be patient” were the some of the first words this gynecologist told her. This was before he developed a specific program for the downcast woman.
He would later start with physical examination. Then necessary complementary tests including inviting the husband to partake in the program. After some months of intensive study, she became pregnant.
“This is not rocket science’’… Dr Odey explained to me… “We do this frequently. You have to understand that people perish because of lack of knowledge and asking wrongfully to God”.
Definition & Facts
According to the World Health Organization, Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
Demographically, reproductive age of women is defined as 15 – 49 years. Male fertility starts to decrease after the age of 40 when sperm quality declines. Among populations below 60years, Infertility in women was ranked 5th highest serious global disability.
25% of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to their infertility. In approximately 40% of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.
The most common causes of infertility are related to the Fallopian tube, Problems with Ovulation and Endometrosis. These account for 90percent of the causes:
- Tubal factor ― 35% includes pelvic infection by chlamydia, gonorrhoea, etc
- Ovulatory dysfunction ― 35% especially Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Endometriosis ― 20%
- Unexplained ― 10%
- Cervical factor ― 3%
- Uterine factor ― Rare
It has been demonstrated that Infertility has identifiable risk factors , most of them are modifiable factors. They include:
- Age: one third of women above 35 years have fertility problems
- Tobacco: Infertility rates in female (and male) smokers are about two times that of nonsmokers
- Excessive alcohol use: drinking alcohol around ovulation period decreases the chance of getting pregnant
- Obesity: defined as Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Check your BMI here.
- Physical or emotional stress
Some experts advice that women below 35 years should visit a doctor after one year (six months if >35years) of failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy.
They will go to one of their biggest secrets ALGORYTHM. See below of an example of Algorithm for Infertility in women.
The good news is that most causes of Infertility are avoidable or treatable. With advance of medicine most woman can have a child. Infertility treatment options includes:
3). Artificial insemination
4). Assisted reproductive technology
5). Combination of #3 & #4.
Assisted Reproductive Technology algorythm
Source:National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
You can read PART II here.