‘Infertile couples can now bear children’
Renowned professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Prof Samuel Nnamdi Obi, has said that infertile couples can now bear children despite their medical challenges through the application of the assisted reproductive technology, ART.Obi explained that the ART is a novel medical technology, which encompasses all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled outside the body.
Presenting the 134th inaugural lecture of the University of Nigeria titled “Be fruitful and multiply: the turbulent journey of uncertainty by infertile couples” at the Enugu campus at the weekend, Obi submitted that in this procedure, eggs surgically removed from a woman’s ovaries are combined with the sperm in the laboratory and subsequently returned to the woman’s body or donated to another woman.
Obi said that ART or adoption was the second most common treatment options offered to women after treatment investigation and diagnosis, especially when the cause was not responsive to conventional treatment.
The medical surgeon noted that one of the common methods of ART is the In Vitro fertilization, IVF, in which fertilisation takes place outside of the body and the zygote is transferred back to the womb.According to him” at creation, God said let us make man in our image after our likeness: and let them have dominion over all the earth”. So, God created man in his image, and God blessed them and said unto them” Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it”.
He continued: “The word ‘fruitful’ signifies fertility while ‘multiply’ refers to the reproduction of the human species. It is when this ability to reproduce one’s kind fails that the adventure of infertile couples in the domain of the gynaecologist begins.”Obi however, defined infertility as the inability of a couple to achieve pregnancy after 12 months of frequent, regular (at least three times weekly) unprotected sex, stressing that the single most important factor affecting the chances of achieving pregnancy is the timing and frequency of intercourse.
The erudite scholar stated that the issue was important because it is not uncommon to find couples coming to the infertility clinic after one year of marriage, complaining of infertility when in actual fact, the couple reside in different cities and only have coitus when the husband visits, which is mostly on weekends.
The medical practitioner also identified sperm abnormalities, premature ejaculation, exposure to chemicals (pesticides), excess alcohol, anti-inflammatory drugs and age as some of the major causes of infertility among men while such factors as cigarette smoking, extreme weight gain, excessive alcohol consumption and age as some of the causes of the problem among women.
Earlier, the Vice chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Chukwuma Ozumba, represented by Prof. James Ogbonna, deputy vice Chancellor academic, had explained that the founding fathers of the university introduced the inaugural lecture series in 1976 to stimulate research and boost learning among the academia and expressed satisfaction that the lecture has been rewarding.
He said that the lecture was a harvest of ideas and has become one of the most important academic activities in the university, even as he urged other academics to come forward and present their lectures to allow them to share from their reservoir of knowledge.
The new deputy Vice chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Prof. Edith Nwosu, who supervised proceedings at the event, expressed joy that academic staff of the institution had shown much commitment with the inaugural lecture which was now a tradition after 42 years.Prof. Ikenna Nzimiro delivered the first inaugural lecture of UNN in 1976 titled “Crisis in the Social Sciences, the Nigerian Situation”.
The occasion was attended by the cream of the medical profession from within and outside the country, including former deputy vice chancellor, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Prof. Peter Ebigbo, provost college of medicine, UNN, Prof. Ernest Onwasigwe and deputy, Prof. Fidelis Ejezie, famous cardiologists, Prof. Martin Aghaji and Prof. Sam Ike, former provost college of medicine, UNN, Prof. Basden Onwubere, the doyen of dentistry, Africa, Prof. Felix Chukwuneke.
The chief medical director of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Dr. Cajethan Nwadinigwe, Prof. Ben Uzochukwu and Prof. Obinna Onwujukwe both of the College of Medicine, UNN, and former dean faculty medicine, UNN, Prof. Uchenna Nwagha were among dignitaries who graced the historic occasion.
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