The Medical Director, Bridge Clinic, Lagos, Dr Toyin Ajayi, has said In Vitro Fertilisation will always be expensive except the quality of the procedure would be compromised.
In an interview with our correspondent, Ajayi, who is a Consultant Gynaecologist said the cost of equipment, manpower and the current exchange rate were some of the reasons the IVF was expensive in Nigeria.
“I think it is important to note that the IVF has a cost which is non-negotiable. I always find it a bit interesting when people do the IVF promos and still can promise patients quality. At our centre, we are client-focused, we always stick to the standard, we are not going to negotiate and use substandard equipment or consumables just to entice patients to come to us.
“IVF is a service that people desire, obviously, because they are having challenges conceiving naturally. It is not like they are sick; but obviously, they desire to have a child. So, they come to the hospital where they know they will get quality service, where they adhere to strict ethical policy and international standard. The IVF is an expensive procedure all over the world, and it will remain like that except the quality and standard will be compromised,” Ajayi said.
She noted that the prevalence of infertility is generally higher in sub-Saharan Africa compared to other regions of the world.
Research shows that one cycle of the IVF in Nigeria can cost an average of N1m, and evidence suggests that many women discontinue treatment for financial reasons. In desperation, some have sought cheaper care from traditional healers which most times has a negative consequence on their health.
The gynaecologist added that 90 per cent of couples trying to have a child would get pregnant by themselves within a year of having regular intercourse, saying that couples could go for the IVF in a trusted centre or seek medical attention if their efforts to have a child did not yield fruit after a year.
“If after a year of actively trying to get pregnant and you’re not getting a positive result, that is when I will advise that you to seek a gynecologist’s opinion as to why you are not getting pregnant. Now, if a woman is a bit older; a woman who is over 40, for instance, we know that as age increases the chances of getting pregnant reduces, after six months of trying, they should seek help,” Ajayi said.
Dispelling the notion by some religion adherents about the IVF, the gynaecologist said physicians were not the ones giving people babies, but everything still depends on God.
She said, “There is nobody that will guarantee 100 per cent success in IVF, and that is why we do have failures. Some will not get pregnant until after three or four trials. What IVF does is essentially to get the sperm and the egg, put them together in the best possible optimal conditions, we just have to hope and pray that it is going to work. Doctors are not giving life, it is God that does that.”
Ajayi added that patients do not need to travel abroad to do the IVF procedures as many centres in the country could give them the same quality they would get abroad.
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