Sunday 11 April 2021
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Men shy away from infertility status

Infertility is described as the inability to conceive after a long period of unprotected sex, this also refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception.
It is however no secret that Namibian men have the misconception that infertility only exists within females where it is predominate.
The Namibia Fertility Clinic in Windhoek, has revealed that the infertility rate of Namibian men stands at 30 percent up to date but it is believed to be higher.
However a large number of  men remain unaware as they tend to shy away from any conversation on infertility. In an interview with the Coordinator and Manager of the Fertility Clinic, Fred Kigozi, it was noted that men do not believe in male infertility.
“They are not for it and the lack of awareness raised around it also plays a role as to why most do not think that it is a male problem” highlighted Kigozi.
Factors that contribute to male infertility as described by Kigozi, are from the chemicals that are emitted from plastic water or soda bottles that are left in the sun and then consumed, stress, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), smoking, alcohol, and perfumed atmospheres such as service stations as well as flower gardens.
Infertility in men can also be detected by the inability of a man to maintain an erection, testicle pain or swelling, low sperm count, hormonal imbalances, tubal blockage, sperm antibodies and issues with ejaculation. He further noted that men only tend to find out about infertility when they visit the clinic after they experience such symptoms.
“Only then are they briefed on what it is and how they can go about it to get it treated.
For males at the clinic we carry out what we call Testicular Biopsy, this is done when a male’s sperm refuses to come out, we then help with removing the sperm because evidently there is a problem with the scrotum.
What we do here at the clinic is take them to theatre and then obtain the sperm which is then fertilized on the outside with a female’s egg” he noted.
He further explained that in Namibia women also experience infertility which is relatively high and cannot be hidden. Kigozi highlighted that infertility in women usually occurs between the ages of 26 to 54.
Infertility in females is usually identified when a woman has irregular, painful or heavy flow of periods, symptoms of hormone fluctuations, and damage to the fallopian tubes, fibroids and polyps in the uterus or experiencing pain during sexual intercourse.
“The high rate is from what we have seen from women who come to the clinic; therefore as a fertility clinic it is our duty to provide alternatives for patients who find it difficult to conceive by offering surrogacy and In vitro fertilization (IVF) at the clinic which costs about N$ 47 500 excluding medication” he said.
In cases where infertility is joint from both partners the Windhoek IVF Clinic also revealed that some of the cases of infertility may be straightforward and quite simple to remedy.
The cases have been found to be related to when the sperm is not deposited high enough in the vagina.
The clinic further revealed that window of opportunity to fertilise an egg is quite limited in a woman’s monthly cycle, the frequency and timing of intercourse may play as a factor. Fertility is also said to reduce with increasing age, especially in women.
In men, testosterone levels can decline with age but not in the dramatic manner seen in women. Men continue to produce sperm but their motility and quality are reduced with advancing age.
Infertility has been recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART), in its new international glossary of Assistive Reproductive Technologies (ART) terminology as a disease.
According to the glossary, infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
In another study conducted and published by WHO in 2012 found that one in every four couples in developing countries are found to be affected by infertility.

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