Hope for childless couples as fertility technologies offer higher success rates

Health & Science
By David Njaaga | Mar 30, 2024

Navigating parenthood through advanced reproductive technologies. [Courtesy]

 For many couples, dreams of parenthood are overshadowed by infertility.

However, advanced reproductive technologies are now turning these dreams into reality.

According to Dr Ayman Mostafa, a Fertility Specialist at Nairobi West Hospital in Nairobi, infertility can be profoundly challenging, especially when couples face the often complex and emotionally charged journey to parenthood.

“Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) are key solutions that stand out in the fight against infertility,” says Dr Mostafa.

“Each of these treatments has its unique approach to overcoming fertility challenges, and understanding their nuances is crucial for couples navigating their path to parenthood,” he adds.

IUI, also known as artificial insemination, is a straightforward and minimally invasive procedure which involves the direct placement of specially prepared sperm into the woman’s uterus during her ovulation period.

The procedure optimises the chances of fertilisation.

Dr Mostafa says IUI is particularly beneficial for cases characterised by low sperm count or unexplained infertility.

“IVF offers a more intricate route, tailored for couples confronting more severe fertility issues,” advises Dr Mostafa.

“The procedure commences with the extraction of eggs from the ovaries, which are then fertilised with sperm in a controlled laboratory setting. The embryos cultivated from this union are monitored for a few days before being transferred to the uterus, setting the stage for implantation and pregnancy.”

ICSI is a specialised technique within the IVF process, specifically designed to address severe male infertility. By injecting a single healthy sperm directly into an egg, ICSI can circumvent issues like low sperm count, poor motility, or abnormal morphology, significantly enhancing fertilisation chances.

“It’s important for couples to approach fertility treatments with realistic expectations, understanding that success rates can vary widely,” argues Dr Mostafa.

“For IUI, the success rates per cycle range between 10-20 per cent, influenced by factors such as the underlying cause of infertility and the woman’s age. IVF and ICSI, however, present higher success averages of 30-40 per cent per cycle for women under 35.”

The decision to pursue fertility treatment is multifaceted, hinging on the cause of infertility, individual and collective ages, and personal preferences.

Mostafa, says engaging with a fertility specialist is a critical step in crafting a bespoke treatment plan, aligning medical expertise with the couple’s aspirations.

“Empowerment in the face of infertility comes from understanding and accessing the right treatments,” says Dr Mostafa.



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