Medical professionals have urged childless couples to utilise the breakthroughs in science to achieve their major objective of having children in their marriages.
The specialists particularly enjoined couples to go for the Inter-Uterine Insemination (IUI) approach in the management of perceived infertility in order to have biological children of their own.
They spoke in Asaba, Delta State capital, during a one-day workshop for medical doctors in the South-South and South-East regions on the conduct of IUI for patients. The workshop was organised by Nordica Fertility Centre in conjunction with the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON).
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Nordica, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, IUI was the most basic form of assisted conception, explaining that the process entails the preparation and concentration of the sperm to be injected into the uterus for fertilisation to take place in the body of the woman.
He said IUI was different from In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) because “in IVF, fertilisation occurs outside the body, that is why it is called In-Vitro Fertilisation – fertilisation outside the body. But in IUI, fertilisation occurs inside the body. In his words:
“IUI is a form of assisted conception; it is about the most basic form of assisted conception. So it is a process whereby we prepare the sperm and inject it into the uterus (womb) of the woman in order for fertilisation to occur.
“For fertilisation to occur, sperm and egg must come together, in the fallopian tube. The process increases the chance of the sperm getting to the fallopian tube so that fertilisation can occur.”
A consultant gynaecologist, Dr. Chioma Onyekwere, informed the trainees that there were certain criteria that must be met before IUI can be administered on a patient, as a form of treatment for infertility.
According to her, the patient (woman) must be less than 35 years, and that the tubes must be opened, adding that sperm motility is also important. She said:
“Before somebody is chosen for IUI, you have to evaluate that person, the age. We say it is better for people who are less than 35 years as a woman. And when you now do the sperm analysis, the sperm has to meet some criteria.
“Remember that because it is happening inside the body, the sperm will still have to move, so motility is key because if you bring a sperm that is not moving, there is no way it can go and meet the egg.
“The only thing is that IUI will by-pass the neck of the womb, which is the cervix and go straight to the womb so that the sperm are nearer; they just move on straight and meet the egg that is released.
“What we also do is that the lady is given some drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce. And the patient is going to be monitored; you don’t do it without monitoring.
“You monitor by doing the trans-vagina scan – that is going through the vagina to do the scan, which is nearer to those ovaries. When you do that you will be checking the number of follicles because you want to be sure that two or three follicles are ready.
“When you monitor and it get to a particular side, then you give trigger injection, then 38 hours after that injection, that is when the sperm that has been prepared and concentrated will be injected into the woman. Then you wait for two weeks before going for a pregnancy test.”
Chairman of SOGON (Midwest region), Dr. Mojeed Momoh, said the training had equipped doctors with the requisite knowledge to identify and treat some conditions of infertility, and thus make the services readily available.