Gynecologist Advises Couples Above 46 to Seek Help Six Months After Failing to Conceive

By Starrys Obazei | May 2, 2023

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, a consultant gynecologist and fertility expert, has advised couples who are yet to conceive six months after having unprotected sex and are above 46 years old to see a gynecologist for proper medical evaluation to ascertain the cause.

The health specialist said the delay for those within the age group to seek medical assistance would reduce their chances of conception, as both men and women have reached peak fertility periods.

He expressed concern that many fertility-challenged, couples in Nigeria wait for years before seeking medical assistance, adding that delay is not an ideal act.

Dr. Ajayi, who is the Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, highlighted this during a press briefing to mark the 20th anniversary of the facility.

The gynecologist noted that women are at their reproductive peak period between ages 25 and 32 while in men, by 45 years, sperm quality begins to decline.

He said: “When a couple has been trying to get pregnant and there’s no success, they should see a gynecologist without delay.

“If they visit an expert and it is discovered that they need In-vitro Fertilization, IVF, to have their kids, then they better start quickly also, before they start telling them stories that touch the heart.

“At age 35, women’s fertility starts declining rapidly. Your best bet as a woman is to have children during your peak age.”

Dr. Ajayi said even though a man could impregnate a woman at any age, the quality of sperm, he noted, matters as the quality tends to decrease with age.

“Men are a little bit luckier but reproduction also decreases in men after age 40. By 45, their reproduction capacity starts declining and so is their chance of producing quality sperm that can fertilize a woman’s eggs.

“If a man is 50 and he .marries a 25-year-old woman, he may not quickly get her pregnant like a 30-year-old man who marries a 25-year-old woman.

“Men can indeed impregnate a woman at any age, but the quality of sperm he is producing to fertilize eggs matters a lot”, he said.

The fertility specialist said the application of fertility treatment procedures such as IVF was growing rapidly across the globe, adding that the future for assisted conception in Nigeria was bright.

“The assisted conception industry is growing in leaps and bounds. Every day we can now see that it is not just for infertility anymore. Indeed the uses are more widespread.

“In Nigeria, we can use this more. In fact, the application of IVF is .likely to increase more and more, hence the future is very bright, and .even for medicine generally”, he added.

Dr. Ajayi revealed that Nordica Lagos had successfully helped thousands of fertility-challenged couples from all walks of life and all geographical locations within and outside Nigeria to complete their families, adding that this resulted in the birth of over 5,000 babies and still counting.

He said part of the center’s success secret was its ability to manage people properly.

Describing the 20th-anniversary celebration and unveiling of the anniversary logo as a milestone, he said: “For me, this journey started as the dream of a man who felt that fertility-challenged Nigerian couples needed to avail themselves of the latest technology in the fertility management space at the time.

He said: “The pioneering efforts of a few of us then have led to the evolution of a world-class practice in Nigeria, comparable to any leading fertility center in developed cities of the world.

‘We are proud to say that our thrust to bring the latest technology, techniques, and skills to .bear on the fertility management landscape .in Nigeria has seen us chart a course for innovative solutions to the benefit of our esteemed clients over the past 20 years.”

Dr. Ajayi noted that Nordica Lagos has partnered with several organizations to give access to free IVF treatments to deserving Nigerian couples.

He said that the center was currently exploring partnerships that will assist in enabling it to give more free treatments to infertile couples.

“We have vigorously pursued a knowledge transfer initiative through our ‘Physicians Roundtable’ which is our special purpose vehicle to help with the continuous professional development of specialist and general practice doctors to improve knowledge in the area of fertility .management via virtual .and physical .training programs.

“This year we also want to do more for our medical community partners. We will be hosting several training initiatives across our operational centers in, Lagos, Asaba, and Abuja,” he said.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG, says infertility evaluation may be offered to any patient who by definition has infertility or is at high risk of infertility.

“Women older than 35 years should receive an expedited evaluation and undergo treatment after six months of failed attempts to become pregnant or earlier if clinically indicated.

“In women older than 40 years, more immediate evaluation and treatment are warranted. If a woman has a condition known to cause infertility, the obstetrician–gynecologist should offer immediate evaluation”, ACOG said.

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