Moses Fache, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at NISA Premier Hospital Jabi, Abuja, on Monday advised women to have their babies before the age of 35 to avoid infertility.
Fache told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the production of eggs from the ovaries of a woman decline rapidly with age.
He described infertility as conditions affecting production of eggs from the ovaries, transportation of egg to the womb through the fallopian tubes and implantation of fertilised eggs inside the womb.
The medic identified those women who plan to have all their babies before the age of 35 may prevent the aging ovary from being the cause of their infertility.
He said that there were diverse factors that could contribute to the reduced production of eggs in a woman which exposes her infertility.
“Another common cause of reduced production from the ovaries is the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance and it can cause problems with menstrual cycle which makes it difficult for pregnancy to occur.
This condition may be prevented by significant weight loss in obese patients, but early identification and treatment can help improve the woman’s chances of conception.
A high prolactin level occasionally associated with milky discharge from the breast of a woman that is not breastfeeding is also associated with reduced egg production from the ovaries.
Other causes include thyroid problems, premature failure of the ovaries, drugs and treatments for other conditions that suppress ovarian function,” Fache said.
On the contributory functions of the fallopian tube to reproduction, he said that the tube was to transport egg from the ovary to the site where sperms meet the egg for fertilisation.
Fache noted that any damage to the tube prevents it from performing the function thereby causing infertility.
He said that infections and unhealthy practices to the reproductive system of a woman could render the tube non-functional.
“Tubes can be damaged from sexually acquired infections like Chlamydia and gonorrhea.
These infections may not produce any noticeable symptoms when they are acquired and can cause irreversible damage to the tubes.
Other causes of tubal damage include infections like tuberculosis of the womb, pelvic infections from unsafe abortions, and pelvic adhesions from surgery,” he said.
The obstetrician emphasised that when the egg was fertilised and ready for implantation, the cavity of the womb may have been damaged from previous termination of pregnancies.
He also said that evacuation of a miscarriage or as a complication of a fibroid removal surgery could be a determinant factor to infertility.
A fibroid can partly or completely occupy the womb cavity also preventing implantation of the embryo.
Fache, however, suggested that preventing pregnancy rather than terminating them would help reduce the incidence of damaged womb lining.
In spite of readily available tools for detecting and treating fertility problems in women and couples generally, Fache said that patronage was still poor due to the financial burden of fertility treatment.
He noted that, where possible, prevention by avoiding a potential source of infertility would help to reduce its incidence.
Photo Credit: Francosmphotos/Dreamstime.com