‘Work­ing with com­puter on your lap can cause infertility’

Weekly Trust - - News - Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 27, 2018 Cont’d. from pre­vi­ous page Ailoje: Dr Ailoje Ailoje: Ailoje:

waters it. With time, the seed will grow. The qual­ity and quan­tity of eggs in women di­min­ishes with age, hence women’s age may be a fac­tor for infertility. That’s why it is rec­om­mended that women past the age of 35 seek help af­ter one year of un­pro­tected timed, reg­u­lar in­ter­course if they don’t get preg­nant.

Tests such as know-yourfer­til­ity-sta­tus pro­fil­ing can be done even be­fore mar­riage. Then, both a man and woman can know if they have fer­til­ity chal­lenges and if they will need as­sisted re­pro­duc­tion to help them be­come par­ents, in­stead of just wait­ing and pass­ing blames. In Nige­ria, some men don’t ac­cept they could be the prob­lem; usu­ally, the woman is con­cluded to be the prob­lem. Cou­ple fac­ing a fer­til­ity chal­lenge should go for coun­selling to­gether be­cause it takes two to tango. Nei­ther a man nor a woman can have a baby alone. A man’s sperm and a woman’s egg must meet, whether phys­i­cally or in the lab­o­ra­tory, to form an em­bryo and have a baby.

For ap­prox­i­mately one in five in­fer­tile cou­ples, the prob­lem lies solely with the male part­ner. It has been es­tab­lished that one in 20 men have low sperm count. Only about one in 100 have no sperm cell in them. Low sperm is more com­mon than no sperm.

Com­mon causes of infertility in men are med­i­cal. Some of them have a chro­mo­so­mal de­fect, which is how they were born. Other causes are trauma or in­jury to the testes, pre­vi­ous surgery such as re­pair of the her­nia, or some other surgery like va­sec­tomy to clip the sperm tube. Also, cer­tain med­i­ca­tions such as those for can­cer treat­ment, in­clud­ing ra­di­a­tion, can af­fect men. Men are also af­fected by en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors such as ex­po­sure to tox­ins, sit­ting for too long over long dis­tance jour­neys and wear­ing of tight pants. Asides the en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors, life­style also has its ef­fects, such as heavy smok­ing and al­co­hol con­sump­tion, emo­tional stress and be­ing over­weight. Many of these can be cor­rected by life­style mod­i­fi­ca­tion.

Fifty per cent of infertility is caused by men and the other 50 per cent by women. In infertility man­age­ment, we can­not point fin­gers. As a cou­ple, no one should point fin­gers. They should bear the bur­den to­gether. As a cou­ple, you are both on zero point or 100 points to­gether. For some cou­ples, infertility has brought them to­gether be­cause they have gone through a lot to­gether try­ing to start or en­large their fam­i­lies.

Low sex­ual de­sire, trouble main­tain­ing erec­tion, and low ejac­u­la­tion are signs that men should watch out for. They need to visit the fer­til­ity clinic to know what the is­sue is and what the im­pli­ca­tions of these signs are.

Some men claimed they had chil­dren in pre­vi­ous mar­riages but couldn’t have other chil­dren, so they blame it on the woman. Some­one who had had good sperm pro­duc­tion be­fore may not have it any­more if he is ex­posed to heavy en­vi­ron­men­tal tox­ins such as lead, stay­ing close to a mast and over­heat­ing the testes by sit­ting for long hours. Work­ing on the lap­top (on the lap) for a long time, sauna and steamed bath all make the sperm to be­come very low. If such men change their life­styles, they may get a good re­sult.

DT: What are the op­tions for a man who has no sperm cell?

In some men, the rea­son their se­men sam­ple may not con­tain sperm cells may be due to ob­struc­tion of the chan­nel of sperm flow. The treat­ment op­tion is to take sperm from the testes; just like when wa­ter isn’t run­ning, we can take wa­ter from the tank. Some­times, some tanks do have fil­ter, which may de­ter­mine if we can get wa­ter from the tank or not. Tak­ing sperm from the testes is a med­i­cal pro­ce­dure called TESA/ TESE.

Some low or no sperm is caused by ob­struc­tion; some are non-ob­struc­tive. Some don’t even ex­ist, such that there is no testes that can even form the sperm cell. That is the more rea­son a cou­ple needs to be checked by a spe­cial­ist to de­ter­mine what could be wrong.

DT: Stress is com­mon among cou­ples. Is there any­thing that can be done about stress so it won’t con­tinue to af­fect fer­til­ity?

Ev­ery in­di­vid­ual needs to find nat­u­ral stress re­duc­tion tech­niques. When some­one does not have a peace­ful sleep at night, the per­son will wake up stressed in the morn­ing. When a woman is al­ways do­ing all the house chores ev­ery day, she will be stressed; she is the cook, driver, laun­dry woman, mother, ev­ery­thing. Some things need to be del­e­gated and all she does is su­per­vi­sory. Stress can be re­duced by just plan­ning how the day will be like with the rest of the fam­ily. Cook some things over the week­end and store them.

When some­one is stressed, he/ she will look older. When we grow older than we should be, longevity is re­duced. Some say Africans don’t have a long life span. That is not true. The truth is that the stress here is much. What makes life bet­ter in de­vel­oped so­ci­eties is that they are more or­gan­ised with bet­ter health­care and stan­dards of liv­ing. Em­ploy­ers must en­sure their em­ploy­ees go on va­ca­tion: some em­ploy­ees who may want paid leave must be com­pelled to go on a break. Some go on leave and use it for more hus­tling. That should not be the case. When they work tire­lessly to get money, they may end up spend­ing the same earn­ings to look af­ter their health in var­i­ous hos­pi­tals.

DT: What is the price range for fer­til­ity treat­ment in Nige­ria?

The ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion is free. When a doc­tor has ex­am­ined the pa­tient and knows what needs to be done, then the doc­tor will out­line treat­ment plan. ‘How much will I pay?’ is af­fect­ing many peo­ple and pre­vent­ing them from seek­ing help. What is most im­por­tant is about know­ing the fer­til­ity sta­tus of a cou­ple and pre­par­ing for the fu­ture. That should be top­most on the list.

I will ad­vise ev­ery cou­ple to go for fer­til­ity pro­fil­ing to know their sta­tus. If a woman knows that in her fam­ily, there is a his­tory of early menopause, she will plan to have chil­dren ear­lier. Health is the right of a hu­man be­ing and it needs plan­ning.

Asides spe­cial­ist hos­pi­tals, there are gen­eral hos­pi­tals with spe­cial­ists who are do­ing good work for free. But some peo­ple won’t go there with the thought Some say Africans don’t have a long life span. That is not true. The truth is that the stress here is much. What makes life bet­ter in de­vel­oped so­ci­eties is that they are more or­gan­ised with bet­ter health­care and stan­dards of liv­ing that they will spend the whole day there. There are also fa­cil­i­ties in gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals, so a cou­ple need not come here for IVF be­fore they can get help. A reg­u­lar doc­tor in the pub­lic hos­pi­tal can ad­vise a woman on her ovu­la­tion and sim­ple med­i­ca­tions to use, and if it is not work­ing, he/she will re­fer her to Ad­vanced Re­pro­duc­tive Tech­nol­ogy cen­tres like ours.

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