Fertility clinic says IVF babies have normal lives
According to estimate, over 2550 live births have been recorded at the Bridge clinic, a fertility centre in Nigeria, since 1999 till date. That is, one baby in every three days, while recent record has shown an improvement with an average of one baby born every 41 hours.
This, the fertility clinic said, has been a milestone recorded, considering the risk factors surrounding the IVF practice and the challenges presented by couples.
Consultant Gynaecologist, at the Bridge clinic, Dr. Ogunniran Babatunde, who spoke to journalists ahead of the clinic’s 20th anniversary, said over time, the success rate of IVF has improved globally, going by the rate of 35 per cent, which means three out of 10 women will actually get pregnant through IVF.
He said with recent innovations and technology, the story of infertility in Nigeria, which is the inability of a couple to achieve conception after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse, has changed, as the fertility clinic records an improved success rate of about 52 per cent live births in the country.
According to Babatunde, the clinic, with its IVF services in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, has helped many new families become parents of twins, quadruplets and single, with a team of consultant gynaecologists, medical officers and nurses, supported by a skilled team of embryologists at its advanced IVF laboratory.
The gynaecologist said, though, there are no strict regulations as regards IVF in Nigeria, the clinic adheres to ethical practices in its treatment guidelines for couples to match up with international standards.
Babatunde said the clinic, through a partnership with the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), also provides fertility care to indigent couples at the Institute of Fertility Medicine (IFM), an initiative that provides affordable fees with specialist care.
The gynaecologist debunked findings that revealed children born through IVF suffer from one form of cardiovascular disease, stating that all the babies are absolutely normal as those born through natural means, except those from very poor and low semen parameters, which could result in genetic abnormalities.
He advised couples to ensure improved lifestyle modification, which affects reproductive outcomes, noting that during analysis of samples or random parameters of semen, a lot of men are having low sperm count and poor motility.
“A lot of dietary changes are happening through out the world, we are advised to stop taking alcohol, smoking, live well, exercise well, which is very important. We have had situations where men come in for semen analysis and we don’t fine sperm at all, which is also as a result of poorly treated sexual transmitted infection due to poor sexual habit, which leads to male infertility,” he said.
Speaking on the 20 years anniversary, the Marketing Executive, Chinelo Diko-Okonkwo, said the clinic seeks to ensure that access to fertility-related care are readily available for clients, with its new state-of-the-art family medicine clinic in Victoria Island under construction, adding that part of its ongoing commitment to transform healthcare in Nigeria is the expansion to other disciplines such as paediatrics, general medicine, and nutrition.
She added that as part of the fertility clinic’s anniversary, it would support and renovate local orphanage to show love to children who are not fortunate to have parents to take care of their daily requirements.