A fertility herbal expert, Dr Ekinyi Ochete, says infertility is a global public health problem that deserves utmost attention to solve.
She made this known on Saturday in Abuja, on the sidelines of 2022, World Infertility Awareness Month.
The World Infertility Awareness Month is celebrated every June, to increase awareness regarding numerous infertility issues faced by couples across the globe. This includes problems related to females as well as male fertility.
During awareness, myths about infertility are debunked and a lot of options are brought forward to those who may want to conceive.
Ochete advised Nigerians to embrace alternative medicines and treatments to solve problems of infertility.
According to her: “Yes, some causes of infertility can be overcome. All you need is a good doctor, a supportive family, and an open mind.
“There is some evidence of benefit from acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and naturopathy in improving fertility outcomes for women with specific clinical infertility diagnoses.
“Acupuncture, yoga and art therapy may reduce infertility-related distress,” she said.
She said that Infertility was a term used for couples who cannot conceive, as well as women who were unable to stay pregnant and often suffer miscarriage.
“While infertility can be tough on those experiencing it in Nigeria, a solution cannot be provided until awareness regarding the cause is created.
“Infertility is so common that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised it as a public health issue for couples across the world,” she said.
Speaking on some of the common problems that cause infertility in women, the expert cited “polycystic ovary syndrome”, which, according to her, is found in a high percentage of women.
“The syndrome has several stages and is often curable through medication and treatment.
“Other issues faced by women include a diminished ovarian reserve, where the eggs in a woman reduce with each menstrual cycle.
“There is also endometriosis, a condition where the growth of the tissue inside the uterus is moved outside.
“It is due to these problems that you have a lot of women undergoing IVF treatments every year.
“Since fertility issues are not a rarity, it is recommended for women in Nigeria to embrace indigenous and original approaches in treatment,” she said.
She said infertility was now largely due to lifestyle and choices, especially unhealthy food, excessive consumption of alcohol, and lack of rest, among others.
She enjoined the government to set up a regulatory body to standardise herbal products and ensure adherence to quality for Nigerian men and women to benefit.
She said that the treatment of infertility in males and females were varying in their associated risks, intensity, and invasiveness which depend on the duration, cause, age, and personal preferences.
“The physical, financial, and time commitment are the required factors for infertility treatment.
“The treatments can range from medication therapy to induce ovulation, to invasive manipulation of eggs and sperm outside of the body,” she said.
She, however, added that infertility awareness was a critical part of normalising conversation about fertility problems, adding that it was the first step in erasing stigma.