Ray of hope for couples failing to conceive

Monday December 9 2019

 

By Salome Gregory

Adding to that he says, according to a research done in 1999, three out of every 100 couples have fertility issues.

In recent years the statistics have gradually increased to 18 couple out of 100 being affected by fertility issues.

The good news brings hope to many like Rita Jonas, 37, a banker whose marriage ended in divorce four years ago just because she couldn’t get pregnant.

She says she tried every medication that was available to her but nothing worked.

Rita was advised to attend reproductive health clinics together with her husband but he would refuse saying infertility affects only women.

“I was advised to go for IVF of which the process required that both my husband and I go to the hospital. Still he refused. A year after our divorce I got pregnant for another man without an IVF. This made me believe that infertility affects both males and females,” says Rita.

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From tradition medicines to hospital medications nothing worked for her.

The most challenging part about her experience was her husband’s relatives who made her believe it her problem.

However, her doctor advised her to attend her maternity clinics with her husband who never agreed. ”As the days went on his family kept on blaming me for not being able to get pregnant.

This went on until we had to divorce.

I was advised to go for IVF of which the procedure also wanted my husband to present.

Still he refused. A year after our divorce I got pregnant for another man without an IVF.

This made me believe that infertility does not only affect women,” says Rita.

“With infertility it is not only about a woman. Both men and women can be infertile.

With women it can be uterus or fallopian tube problems, poor egg production and for men it can be low sperm count as well as genetic problems,” says Dr Colman.

Adding to that he says, according to a research done in 1999, three out of every 100 couples have fertility issues.

In recent years the statistics have gradually increased to 18 couple out of 100 being affected by fertility issues.

In Tanzania there are very few centres that run IVF. MNH’s move will be opportune for couples who have been trying to conceive in vain.

The hospital will be charging a friendly cost of up to Sh24million for the couple to go on IVF. This depends on what caused the infertility.

Dr Colman says, in women there are two types of infertility.

One is when a woman has never been pregnant and the second type is when the woman had just one child and is not able to get pregnant again.

Daniel Rungwe* is the Executive Director of a certain company in the city.

He and his wife stayed for more than 8 years without getting pregnant.

They tried different herbal and convectional medicines but it never worked until they went to Nairobi for IVF.

He says, it was not easy for him to accept that he had infertility issues until he was pushed by his wife to go for checkups.

His wife had gone through various tests and she was told nothing was wrong with her.

With two different types of treatment options available however response differs from one woman to another.

The two types which are Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) whereby healthy sperm is collected and inserted directly into the uterus during ovulation.

And In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) where eggs are taken from the ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a laboratory where they develop into embryos.

Commenting on the infertility treatment Colman says it can take up to 2 weeks for the treatment to respond as the ovaries will be ready to produce follicles after they have been stimulated.

However with IVF takes longer that is between 4 to 6 weeks.

In men infertility is treated by surgery to widen the veins and the antibiotics treat the infection in the reproductive organs.

“At times I thought I could be the problem. But since infertility is linked to a man’s ability to rise on the occasion I kept refusing to go to the hospital.

I am fully aware that infertility does not only affect women but I never wanted to believe that I could be among men with infertility challenges,” says Rungwe.

“It was until my wife decided to go back to her parents telling them that I have been refusing to see the doctors.

We had a family meeting where it was insisted I should go for the check up. It was later known that both my wife and I had challenges”, he adds.

It is now three years since they got their first born. Asked if he is aware of the plans by MNH he says he is happy that they will be among the beneficiaries of the plan in future.

“I hope it will not be expensive as it was with. It took us about Sh38million to get us the baby in our hands.

And we did not count some other costs like accommodation and transport we used in Kenya,” Rungwe says.

The MNH Executive Director, Prof Laurence Museru was quoted saying the hospital management has sent its staff to be trained on how IVF should be conducted.

Dr Vincent Tarimo is a gynaecologist based in Dar es Salaam says, infertility becomes a major challenge as people tend to think it is a woman’s problem.

This makes it difficult for men to come to the hospital for checkups.

He says, in a week he receives around 350 women who attends his clinic with infertility issues and results show between 20 to 25 women have infertility issues the rest have minor complications that can be treated but it also important for couples to go for treatment.

As the MNH plans to start IVF treatment soon, it should also start educating people that infertility affects both men and women.

A random survey by Your Health shows that, only 2 people out of twelve knows that infertility also affects men.

Majority of whom believe it is a woman’s burden not being able to get pregnant.

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