A reproductive endocrinologist consultant, Prof Oladapo Ashiru has identified environmental toxin, bad eating habit and food incapability as the major causes of infertility.
He made this disclosure while speaking at the Sixth Felix Oladejo Dosekun Memorial Lecture which was put together by the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
In his own words, “The fact is that when we look at the technique of invitro-fertilization and embryo transfer, we see that it has helped us, especially with those who have the problem of block tubes and low sperms to have babies.
“But, we went further to check for what may hinder solution to reproduction abnormalities.
“So, we were able to use the technique of Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) to ensure that the embryos are normal before we put them into the woman so that they can have babies.
“PGT is a diagnosis of a genetic condition before achievement of a pregnancy.
“Despite all these, some patients were not getting pregnant, and we found out that they were having toxins in their bodies and these toxins are coming, either from the environment or from what they eat.
“For example, a woman taking too much fruits, thinking that it is healthy, can affect the pancreas and they can end up having polycystic ovarian disease.
“Woman, who eat too much vegetables and when it doesn’t digest, it can blot and cause them to have candida infection.
“Also, women who eat too much stockfish or large meat can have mercury, because that is what they use to preserve them, and some of these fish were caught from contaminated waters that have a lot of heavy metals.
“The insecticides we use to spray our houses or paints are toxic to the sperm; also, women who drive car bear-footed can absorb a chemical called antimony from the rubber on the brake pedals, which, after a long time, can accumulate to a level that will be toxic to the embryo.
“So, such woman will find it difficult to get pregnant or when they get pregnant, they experience miscarriage at an early stage.
“This is because the environment where the baby is to stay, which is the uterus, is laid with that antimony and it becomes hostile to the embryo,’’ he said.
Doctor Ashiru emphasized the need to understand the need to consume more of local resources than imported foods.
“This is because 90 percent of Africans are lactose intolerance and it gives us disorders, whereas we can have and sustain the various foods we grow on our land.
“By doing this, we will be able to control all the diet defects that may hinder infertility and also implantation success.
“The United Nation (UN) has now declared in its charter that having a baby is a human right.
“Also, infrastructure must be provided to help whosoever desires to have baby and scientific technologies are now available to help, “he said.
The expert added that people with sickle cell now have the hope of having surviving children with the help of PGT.
“Today in Nigeria and West Africa, IVF is now available in almost 70 clinics, about 25 of the clinics perform IVF and about 4 now performPreimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT).
“It is possible to say that virtually any family will be able to have a baby with all the technologies in our hands.
“Today, less than five percent of Nigerians travel abroad for ART treatment. In fact, we now have many people coming for IVF treatment in our various centers from abroad.
“Our sickle cell carrier couples can now smile as we can screen their embryos before conception to avoid having a sickle cell baby,” He concluded.