Emelia Naa Ayeley Aryee (arrowed), Director of Xoese Ghana, with some doctors and participants after the conference. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Emelia Naa Ayeley Aryee (arrowed), Director of Xoese Ghana, with some doctors and participants after the conference. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

Society urged not to stigmatise infertility

The Director of Xoese Ghana, Emelia Naa Ayeley Aryee, has called for an end to the stigma surrounding infertility, particularly against women.

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According to her, research shows that both men and women were responsible for 45 per cent each of infertility cases while 10 per cent were environmental factors. “I call for an end to infertility stigma, particularly against women.

 Infertility is a shared responsibility between a male and female, therefore it can never be said that it is the sole fault of the woman all the time,” she said. She was speaking at the Xoese Ghana fertility conference last Sunday.

Ms Aryee expressed sadness at the stigmatisation of women due to infertility, urging instead for support and understanding. “Mothers, fathers, sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-law, please be patient when there is a delay in childbirth. We must all be supportive and kind,” she emphasised.

She advised couples experiencing difficulty conceiving to seek medical help after a year, and encouraged family members to be patient and supportive during the journey. “To couples, don’t feel pressured by anyone. Seek medical help if after one year your desire to have a child has not been realised. Women trying to conceive please don’t give up, this journey calls for perseverance,” she said.

Healthy lifestyle

For his part, the Xoese Ghana Board Chair, Dr Samuel Gyedu Owusu, emphasised the benefit of a healthy lifestyle in boosting fertility. Giving a talk on the topic “Infertility at a glance: perspective and dynamics”, Dr Owusu advised individuals trying to conceive to consult dieticians and nutritionists to regulate their diet.

He highlighted the significance of maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet, noting that even a 10 per cent weight loss could significantly improve fertility rates.

“When you want to lose weight you need a dietician, you need a nutritionist to help you control your calorie consumption. The same way with fertility,” he said “You need nutritionists and dieticians to educate you on foods that you have to eat to make you more fertile. You also have to get regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight,” he added.

Dr Owusu also emphasised the need to avoid harmful habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and drug use.

IVF  

A Gynaecologist at Accra Fertility Centre, Dr Joseph Homiah, debunked common myths surrounding In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). He emphasised that IVF babies were not abnormal, citing the first IVF baby, now a grown woman with children, as an example.

He gave an assurance that millions of IVF babies had grown into healthy adults with no cognitive or intellectual problems. Dr Homiah also clarified that IVF did not guarantee twins, and paying for the procedure also did not ensure a successful outcome. He encouraged individuals to educate themselves on the IVF process and prepare financially, as it involves significant expenses.

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