Dr Bukunmi Kolade, a gynaecologist and fertility expert, has advised Nigerians against fear of the unknown and access In Vitro fertilisation (IVF) as a fertility treatment.
Kolade gave the advice in an interview with the Newsmen on the attitude of Nigerians towards IVF on Thursday in Ibadan.
According to him, the advanced medical assisted conception (IVF) or test tube baby has continued to face cultural, ethnic and religious setback.
He noted that the nomenclature “test tube baby’’ and the procedure also give people a wrong perception about the advanced medical innovation as well as send the signal of aversion.
“IVF is a breakthrough in medical care in which we offer care to couples that have a challenge with conception.
“And basically what we do is we collect sperm from the man, we have the egg from the woman, put it together.
“When it starts developing we have it back into the womb; so we need sperm from the man, egg from the woman and then we need a woman womb, these three things are fundamental to IVF.
“But you see, the idea of IVF suggests that the baby was conceived outside of the human body that sends a lot of wrong signal to people.
“So the average African no matter how enlightened, the average African, the first reaction is that of aversion,’’ he said.
The fertility expert however canvassed for more enlightenment and awareness to help Nigerians understand the essence and procedures of IVF.
“With the media and internet pumping out information that babies born through IVF are normal; that the only thing that makes the difference is that conception happens outside the womb, the more we pump out that information the more people will see it as a very good option of treatment to assist conception,” he said.
Kolade said about one out of five couples in Nigeria has a challenge with conception and out of this less than 30 per cent are aware or understand what is called IVF.
“In other words, out of the 30 per cent only a tiny percentage of people who needed this treatment actually access it.
“Many people laid the blame of not accessing IVF on its cost, some people claimed the babies are dummies,’’ said the expert.
However, Kolade said all these misinformation were not medically founded, saying “they are people’s impression about IVF”.