The sperm of Nigerian men is said to be of a poor quality which accounts for an increasing rate of infertility amongst married couples who want to have their own biological children.
This statement was made by Professor Nicholas Zech of the IVF Centres Prof Zech, Austria, the World’s first International Standards Organisation (ISO) certified In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) centre at the opening of the new state of the art Hospital at G.R.A, Ikeja.
“This is just an observation we made over the last couple of years since our collaboration with the Bridge clinic and I can trust in the data because we set the standards of how the sperm is analysed and interestingly, compared to the European countries. The sperm we see of patients coming into the centre are lower, the quality is lower,” he said.
“I want to find out what is the cause but I just can’t start now,because I know the centre does the same grading as we do and then do studies to compare. It could be the toxic environment, the working place, where you live in,” Zech added.
The fertility expert added that to improve the success rates of IVF(In-Vitro Fertilization) in Nigeria, there are quite a number of precautions to be taken.
“To improve the success rates of IVF, we must try to reduce the toxic level in the body to a minimum and create a healthy lifestyle.
“Nowadays, with IVF, we can do a lot of studies, for instance for women-you can get a cancer if you smoke for a long time and you can damage your egg much faster, most cosmetics, especially those with sunblocks could also destroy the eggs of a patient,” he added.
Zech however advised the male patients not to lose hope as there was still a solution for any abnormalities.”We can improve the sperm, the first time we meet a couple, we try to work to get them pregnant, we do a sperm training, the man has to ejaculate very frequently- this is a new invention of ours.
“We have been doing this for five years and we could raise a man’s sperm count by this easy exercise. But just like any exercise,it has to be done consistently to keep fit, he affirmed.
Dr Richard Ajayi,founder of The Bridge Clinic, said their collaboration with the IVF Clinics Prof Zech,one of the most renowned IVF clinics in Europe “allows for a collaborative patient review and advise,management of all key performance indicators such as Fertilization rates,pregnancy rates. This means that deviations from set standards can be detected and addressed.”
Ajayi further stated that “an IVF facility of this standard is mandatory in developed countries. It is beyond most Gynaecologists that want to perform IVF to build laboratories of this level.”
According to him: “I was in Paris last week and found out that there are only two IVF clinics licensed to practice IVF and there are over 100 gynaecologists practising. They all collaborate with one of the IVF clinics. It is our intention to set up similar collaborative systems so that as many gynaecologists that are interested and meet the quality requirements will be invited to use this clinic for the management of their patients.”
“Our hope is to provide our patients with the opportunity to get pregnancy quickly and safely.”
Ajayi however called on the government to regulate the practice of IVF in the country,”there is a dangerous and uncontrolled growth of poor quality IVF clinics all over the country. This needs to be checked to protect our patients from exploitation and harm. We believe that Nigeria needs many IVF clinics but these clinics need to meet the required standards to work in this very sensitive field of science, religion and morality. We believe that there is no need for Nigeria to go through dark times when we already have experience from other countries in Europe and North America.”
“Indeed, countries in Francophone West Africa have already implemented the Giraffe system of regulation,zoning and licensing that is absolutely necessary to protect this very sensitive area that we work,” he added.
Culled from Daily Times