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Physician Advises Couples On When To Seek Medical Intervention After Trying To Conceive

Physician Advises Couples On When To Seek Medical Intervention After Trying To Conceive

A public health physician, Dr. Anire Chima-Oduko has urged couples not to delay seeking medical intervention for infertility.

The expert noted that it may even be necessary for couples to contact a physician to seek medical intervention after six months of trying to conceive without success.

According to the World Health Organisation, infertility is a disease of the male or female reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.

Infertility, WHO said, affects millions of people of reproductive age worldwide – and has an impact on their families and communities.

“Estimates suggest that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals live with infertility globally,” WHO says.

However, according to Dr. Chima-Oduko, even though a case of infertility is only established medically after a couple has tried to achieve pregnancy for one year without success, it may be more beneficial to seek help after six months of trying.

Speaking on a City FM radio programme on Thursday, the expert said seeking medical help early is quite beneficial in the treatment of infertility. She said,

“Couples should not wait too long before starting infertility treatment. I will even say they should see help after trying for six months without result.”

The public health physician also stressed the importance of couples seeking help together, adding that infertility should be seen as a problem for couples and not for the woman or man. She added:

“There are different reasons for infertility. In women, it could be as a result of a hormonal problem, tubal blockage, or even due to fibroid among other reasons.

“In men, it is also a physiological process. A man must have sperm of good quality. That is sperm of good volume and motility. So, anything that affects sperm production in men can cause infertility.

“That’s why we always caution men against smoking, using recreational drugs and wearing boxers that are too tight because they can affect sperm production. 

“There are also cases of men with undescended testes. This can also cause infertility. However, seminal fluid analysis is always required to ascertain the quality of sperm.”

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She also noted that there is primary and secondary infertility, noting that while primary infertility is a case of a couple that has not been able to achieve pregnancy before, secondary infertility is when a couple has not been able to achieve pregnancy after achieving it before. 

To prevent infertility, the public health physician urged Nigerians to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

“What should be done is to first address lifestyle issues. A woman should avoid smoking just like men should avoid it.

“Women should also avoid recreational drugs like men. Also, women should watch their weight. This is because being overweight or underweight can be a factor for infertility,”

she said.

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