A Consultant Gynaecologist and fertility expert, Ibrahim Wada, on Wednesday advised career-minded couples to preserve their sperms and eggs to avoid losing out on parenthood.
According to him, fertility preservation can also be useful for couples who want to postpone having children for medical reasons such as treatment of cancer or ovarian cysts.
Mr Wada, who is also the Founder, Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja, spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said as many women in society were increasingly becoming household heads and men engaging in high professions, fertility preservation would be a solution.
Wada defined fertility preservation, also known as ‘cryopreservation’ as the storage of gamete embryos such as sperms in males or eggs in females for future child-bearing.
He explained that the preservation technique could be achieved by cooling the temperature of the sperms and eggs as well as cells and tissues susceptible to damages caused by chemicals and radiation overtime.
The fertility expert said that sperms and eggs could be frozen prior to radiotherapy, chemotherapy and extensive surgeries.
“The mammalian embryo was first successfully cryopreserved in 1972 and the first reported pregnancy from frozen embryos was in 1983.
“At Nisa Premier Hospital, the first pregnancy from frozen embryos was in 2001.
“We encourage early marriage and early pregnancy, especially for women; also good social and health habit, prevention of infection, alcoholism and smoking can help prevent infertility.
“However, if time is a challenge, then, preservation should be considered,’’ he said.
Wada said that sperms were produced in the testes and millions of new sperms were continuously being produced daily, while in females the ovaries produce eggs at either sides of the womb.
He said that the uterus was the organ where conception occurs, union of an egg and sperm cells; hence, there were various factors responsible for the inability of couples to conceive and bear children.
“In men, it can be the sperm quality, infection, injury, aging or impotency, while in women ovulation problems can be caused by aging, egg quality, and blocked tubes, among others.
“As people grow older, there can be various impediments to one’s fertility such as smoking, alcoholism, drugs and high risk occupation which can also account for decline in sperm count,’’ Wada said.