How infectious diseases cause infertility, by Gynaecologist | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How infectious diseases cause infertility, by Gynaecologist

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

A Chief Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Olubumi Oladipo, has said that infectious diseases were the leading causes of infertility in developing countries.

However, Oladipo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that there were many factors that could be responsible for infertility.

He said the commonest ones in developing societies were Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), viral infections and chromosome deficiencies.

Oladipo said the situation was aggravated by the fact that many people in developing societies were unaware or not concerned about such health conditions. The consultant defined infertility as the inability of a woman in marriage to get pregnant at least after one year of adequate and unprotected sexual intercourse.

He said infertility in both partners should be treated uniformly and not done separately, adding that the problem could come from either of them.

Oladipo said there were two types of infertility known as primary and secondary infertility.

“Primary infertility refers to couples, who have not experienced pregnancy after one year of having sex without using any birth control method.

“While secondary infertility refers to couples, who have been able to experience pregnancy once and later unable to get it,” he said.

He said couples could begin to seek urgent medical assistance after one year of trial, especially if the woman had turned 35 and above, and had never conceived before.

He further advised younger couples to take their time and not get anxious if conception was not achieved in the first year. Oladipo said infertility could either be a male or female factor and should be investigated properly.

He said some infections could interfere with sperm production, sperm health or could cause scarring that could block the passage of the sperm.

He said infertility could be due to STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Others, he said, included inflammation of the prostate, inflamed testicles due to mumps infection, adding that some infections could result in permanent testicular damage.

Oladipo identified other male factors in infertility as retrograde ejaculation, a condition in which semen entered the bladder during organism instead of emerging out of the tip of the penis.

He stated that the swelling of the veins that drain the testicles could prevent normal cooling of the testicles, thereby leading to reduced sperm count.

The consultant said the female factor was mainly through STIs which could occur and affect the reproductive system after an abortion.

He said ovulation was another factor in which the ovaries were not producing eggs, adding that without ovulation, there would be no eggs to be fertilised.

According to him, the process of the egg growing, maturing and ovulating happens in every menstrual cycle but there can be distortion in the process.

He added that blocked fallopian tubes and uterine fibroids could contribute to female infertility.

Oladipo stressed that age factor could also play a role in female infertility, saying that delay in pregnancy could decrease the likelihood of conception.

He said other factors that could increase the risk of infertility in women include anxiousness, smoking, excess intake of alcohol, poor diet, overweight or underweight.

Oladipo however advised couples on the need to eliminate some societal and cultural factors that could affect couples in achieving conception.

He said nutrition and environmental changes could also be a contributory factor to infertility.

According to him, the type of food eaten by the couple could have adverse effect on fertility.

Oladipo stated that with technology, most infertility cases could be treated, although, research had also proven that there were cases of unexplained infertility.

The consultant advised couples with infertility issues to seek for help early and to eat organic food as well as embrace healthy living.