Tuesday 23 October 2018


Dr. Michael Ogunkoya, MD, The Hope Valley Fertility Clinic
Dr. Michael Ogunkoya (+2348033069466), the best fertility specialist in Nigeria who was trained in the best medical schools in USA, Canada, London, Wales and Hungary, is the Managing Director of The Hope Valley Fertility Clinics. He is the man with the divine mandate to stamp-out childlessness among Nigerian couples. In this interview, he talks about the latest developments in technology and medicine and how they are stamping out infertility. Sit back and enjoy it.

Is determining the sex of a baby such a big deal?
In this part of the world, we place a lot of priorities on the sex of babies, especially in the eastern states, where they cherish and can do anything to have male babies. There are many technologies that can assist in selecting the sex of babies and we are at the forefront of establishing this, just like we established IVF practice in 2001 to assist couples achieve their desires. There are other reasons why people would want to determine the sex of their babies, which most people don’t talk about.

For instance, there are some diseases, which affect one sex far more than the other. And sometimes, you wonder why some people are short, while some have normal trunks but with suppressed limb growth. Medically, this group of people is called dwarfs. There are some genetic involvements, which do not allow the appropriate and proper growth of the cartilage and bone, which cause such condition. Sometimes, this is four times more common in male than in female. So, if it runs in your family, you may decide to have female babies, which is a way of cutting down the risks. However, there are other ways of detecting those things now because technology has advanced.

So, sex selection is not necessarily because you want the sex of the baby to be this or that for social reasons. It could also have positive implications in avoiding giving birth to babies with that problem. We now have an emerging programme, which we call fertility preservation. As the phrase suggests, it is about preserving one’s fertility. It’s a deliberate thing, contrary to the situation, where people find themselves unable to get pregnant. In this instance, you are avoiding pregnancy for a reason. This happens when people unfortunately have to undergo treatments for cancer, which involve radiation therapy or chemotherapy, which could destroy their ovaries or testes completely. So, they want to preserve those organs before they receive chemotherapy.

What we do is take the ovaries, a part of it or the testicular tissues out and preserve it in a special way. They can then go ahead with their treatment and when they get better or cured and want to have babies, we return those organs we removed for safety and they can have babies. It is as simple as that. But there are some women that don’t have cancer, but who prefer getting married or pregnant later in life because they are pursuing a career. Knowing that by the end of such career, they may likely not have the ability to produce good eggs gain, they opt for the preservation of their ovaries or eggs.

Another category of women that do this is those that feel they have not met the right partner, though this is more common in the West. What they do is to preserve their fertility because age is not on their side. So, after finding the right partner and want to settle down, we retrieve those stuff and mix them with the partner’s sperm so that they can have their own babies. The list is endless.

How has it been, practicing this aspect of medicine?
It has been interesting. To me, that shows the seriousness with which we handle our delivery healthcare services. We also place a lot of priorities on updates in medical knowledge by attending conferences, seminars and updating our equipment. This is one area of medicine, where you have to update your equipment very frequently; otherwise you will be lagging behind technology advancement. Every year mandatorily, some equipment is updated because for one reason or the other, they need to be changed, as advancement in research has brought some new approaches to treatment.

It is, therefore, not surprising that our results have been fairly consistent with upward trends because when you combine experience with the right equipment and update you are bound to get good results. Science is not about sentiment, but about putting in your best.
I take special interest in being involved even though I am the MD. I discuss with my patients one-on-one. I listen to them as they talk and those who share their experiences with us get appropriate answers. The answers they get from us also enrich their knowledge and by so doing, every fear and anxiety are totally erased from their mind. There is also the issue of attention to details, which is very critical in this profession and we don’t play with it. The problem of infertility affects couples in various ways, and it psychologically deranges some patients. It affects mood, work, as well as interpersonal relationship. Marriages are affected and in some instances dissolved because of it.

It’s just bad news, but there are ways things can be ameliorated with proper understanding of the subject matter and the fact that if the right approach is employed, positive results will come, given available statistics. Like I always tell my patients, it’s not every time that a 24 year-old lady and a 24 year-old man sleep together that she would get pregnant. It doesn’t work that way in nature; so, you shouldn’t expect something too far away from that.

However, in assisted reproduction, we are talking about you having tried for two to three years and nothing is happening, then assisted reproduction comes in and put you back to nature. We copy nature, we don’t fight it, anything natural is always the best and we don’t play God because He is the Maker of the heaven and earth and everything that is in them and under the sea. These are some of the things we would like to highlight, as our salient points. Our approach is to manage the patients. When you manage a patient, you will be managing her as a person and the diseases and vice versa.

Are there a maximum number of times a woman is allowed to go for IVF?
There is no limit; the only thing that can limit you is money. Technology is ever advancing. We address sore points involved in this practice and find solutions to them. Years ago, we were not talking of women who are 50 to 60 being able to carry their own babies. But now, we know we can make it possible through God’s help to assist couples who are older than 50 years to be able to carry own their babies. Every time, something is coming anew, so long you keep updating yourself and keep abreast of development.

When couples have delayed conception, what’s the best thing to do?
We always advise them first of all to see their general practitioner because all they need may just be simple advice about when to make love or the doctor may detect very simple issues to be sort out, without having to visit the gynaecologist at all. I believe that many problems would be solved through that way. It’s only those whose cases are intransigent that would need to be referred to the gynaecologist and they are well informed to know what to do and when to refer such cases to assisted conception centres like ours.

Quack doctors are doing so much damage to the medical profession. What’s the way out?
There are many quacks and it’s very important that patients must beware of them. There are many quacks in medical practice generally. Locally and internationally, there are those who are not even doctors, but are wearing white coats in hospitals and they have been caught on several occasions. There are those who are doctors, but not specialists and are pretending to be specialists and the patients don’t know. There also are specialists who are doing what they are not supposed to do and they have been caught several times and prosecuted.

My people say ‘many days for the thief, but one day is for the owner.’ Because the damage they do to patients is much and mostly irreversible, both psychologically and emotionally, only God can judge them. Sometimes we find it almost impossible to judge them. A lot of people always ask what is the Nigerian Medical Association doing to stop them from operating, but you can see what Nigeria is like right now. It is difficult prosecuting people and even if they are prosecuted, it may not see the light of the day.

Testimonies abound of people, who despite low sperm count were able to impregnate their women. Can low sperm count cause infertility?
Yes, of course, because the sperm needs to be good in count and in viability to be able to penetrate the egg. Just like you would have to approach a lady to woo her, the sperm would have to approach the egg, which cannot move, as it is only the sperm that can move. The egg is about 120 micron, while the sperm is about seven micron in size. Soldiers protect the egg, as it were, that bite themselves as if they are trying to protect somebody. The sperm has to be strong enough to, first of all, fight these soldiers by penetrating through them to get to the surface of the egg. Only good sperm can do that. But once one sperm latches onto the egg, no other sperm can get there.

Do you have issues or delay in getting pregnant? You do not need to worry about it. Just contact the best fertility specialist in Nigeria, Dr. Michael Ogunkoya (+2348033069466) for counseling. He was trained in the best medical schools in USA, London, Canada, Wales and Hungary. Dr. Ogunkoya is the man that has the divine mandate to stamp-out childlessness among Nigerian couples. He is the medical director of The Hope Valley Fertility Clinic.
The Hope Valley Fertility Clinic
Plot 31, Block 113, Oladimeji Alo Street, Opposite Visa Office, By Ikate Roundabout, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos-Epe Express Way, Lagos.

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