By Sola Ogundipe
Nigerian couples challenged by infertility need to be meticulous in choosing their preferred treatment clinic as their choice goes a long way in determining whether or not and when they would achieve pregnancies.
Currently faced by lack of regulation, the practice of fertility treatment in the country is almost like an all comers’ affair, going by the high number of fertility clinics available in the country. “You should look out for clinics that have high pregnancy and birth rates, high quality management system, as well as strong ethics, good experience and cutting edge technology and infrastructural setup to boost your chances of getting pregnant,” said Dr Babatunde Bamidele, a fertility doctor with the Bridge Clinic, Lagos. Speaking at a Welcome Forum recently, he said by adopting international standards and refusing to compromise The Bridge Clinic, Nigeria’s foremost fertility clinic, had recorded high success rates in treatment of fertility issues. “Since inception, The Bridge Clinic has adopted international best practices in its operations and these are the standards that have assisted it in achieving its enviable successes in the areas of number of live births and pregnancy rates. “We pioneered the fertility treatment service in Nigeria 16 years ago and have so far achieved 1935 live births. This translates to an average of one live birth in every three days. This is a feat no other fertility clinic in Nigeria has achieved, or is about achieving in the nearest future,” he said. Couples challenged by infertility may not have the capability to do a comparative assessment of fertility clinics available in the country, so they are advised to seek the opinion of their gynaecologists before choosing their preferred clinic. Dr Ekundayo Omogbehin, the Corporate Marketing and Customer Service Coordinator of The Bridge Clinic noted that the absence of a robust regulatory regime in the fertility medicine space has allowed all manner of practices with attendant consequences. “Many clinics combine both the gynaecology practice with fertility treatment, thus misleading the people into believing that those clinics have high pregnancy rates because of the number of pregnant women that come to those clinics.”
Tips for choosing a good fertility clinic
Before taking the next step in your journey to become pregnant, it’s worth seeking out a good fertility clinic. You need to do some homework first. Before you step foot into the fertility clinic, find out what kind of invasive tests or procedures might lie in wait for you. When it comes to choosing a clinic, do thorough research ahead of time. Look out for success rates of fertility centres around the country.
Keep in mind that some fertility centres that looked great several years ago may have had high staff turnover and declined in quality. Ask a lot of questions of every fertility clinic you’re considering. How long has the fertility clinic’s medical director been there? How long have the doctors and technicians been there? High staff turnover can be a sign of bad management and can contribute to mistakes.
Be sure the clinic has a wide range of infertility remedies available and is familiar with the latest technology.
How concerned is the clinic about ethical issues? If you call the clinic and they’re too busy to answer your questions, try elsewhere. They may not have time for your questions once you’re a patient, either.