BURDEN OF INFERTILITY
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BURDEN OF INFERTILITY     

     

Infertility is a growing burden particularly in this part of the world where the absence of a child in a home may lead to the failure of that marriage. Our cultural background and societal pressure have placed a heavy burden on couples trying to achieve conception.

One out of every six couples will have difficulty conceiving. Sadly, the rate of infertility is on the increase because of late marriage, delayed childbearing due to educational and career pursuit, increased incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease leading to tubal blockage, changing lifestyle, environmental factors and increased male factor infertility.

In our society, the burden of infertility is felt more by the woman. The belief is that if a couple cannot have a child, it is the fault of the woman. This is the reason more women are seen in the clinics than men. The fact is that the male contribute equally and in some instance more to the cause of infertility. Infertility is therefore not a woman’s problem, but a challenge that the couple should confront together and overcome.

We are glad that treatment options are now available to overcome nearly all cases of infertility. Unfortunately, the majority in need of this treatment cannot afford it. In some European countries, some cycles of assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment is offered free to couples trying to achieve conception before some payment is required; while in Nigeria, fertility treatment is not covered by any health insurance plan.  The burden of footing the bill rest entirely on the shoulders of the couple.

Although the answer to infertility is available thanks to ART, the access to treatment is very limited. Only the rich can benefit from ART fertility treatment. Invariably, infertility is becoming the sickness of the poor and the financially disadvantaged. With the devaluation of naira, the cost of ART has further risen, making the situation very challenging. It is important to note that one cycle of IVF treatment in most fertility centers cost between 1.4M – 1.85M depending on the type of program and the amount of medication to be used. 

 

All hope is not lost; it is this understanding and experience that gave birth to JOJE ABEBE ART Foundation, to amongst other things, give financial grant to cover up to 50% of the cost of fertility treatment, thereby making the treatment affordable.



 

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