Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients

For  young persons, a cancer diagnosis can be very traumatizing. Treatments that can be lifesaving can also be  life threatening to fertility. At the Elrapha Hospital and Fertility Center, we are available to counsel patients with a new cancer diagnosis regarding the risk their cancer treatments may pose to their fertility processes.

Below, our experts answer commonly asked questions about the impact specific treatments have on fertility and the fertility preservation options we offer, which include embryo, oocyte, ovarian tissue and embryo cryopreservation.

Embryo Cryopreservation

In-vitro fertilization followed by cryopreservation (freezing) of the fertilized eggs can provide an opportunity to have a pregnancy after treatment for cancer is completed. This procedure involves treatment with injectable fertility medications to stimulate development of multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved in a procedure performed under anesthesia, called an oocyte retrieval, and fertilized with the partner’s (or donor) sperm and then frozen. The whole process generally requires two to four weeks.

IVF with cryopreservation of embryos has been used extensively for infertility treatment since the early 1980s and is considered a safe and routine procedure. The embryos can be stored for a number of years until cancer treatment is completed. Even if the cancer treatment results in ovarian failure, the woman can be given hormones to mimic a normal ovulation cycle and have the embryos transferred back to the uterus by a simple outpatient procedure.

The chance of pregnancy is about 30 to 50 percent each time one to two embryos are returned to the hormonally prepared uterus (pregnancy rate is dependent on maternal age at the time the embryos were created). If several high grade embryos can be produced and stored, that should give the couple a reasonably good chance of achieving a pregnancy at a later date. Sometimes this is not possible because of the need to start cancer treatment quickly. An IVF cycle takes about two weeks to complete, and we can often start controlled ovarian hyperstimulation to harvest eggs on a random day during a woman’s cycle.

EL-RAPHA AT THREE YEARS

EL-RAPHA AT THREE YEARS

THE WHY?

Family is an important prerequisite for every human being. Our family is usually our fortress of solitude. When we are very sad or at our happiest, we like sharing those moments with our family. It makes the memories very special. We look to them for advice, support, correction and occasional scolding. We are humans because of family. Family brings out the best in us, they instill in us core values that shapes our perception of life and mold us into the unique beings we are today.

When we fall in love with someone we tend to know they are ‘the one’ when we start thinking of starting a family with them. However, starting a family may prove difficult or in some cases seemingly impossible for some couples and the cause of this may be medically induced which will require professional care. This is what inspired Dr. Moses Fache, Founder and Medical Director of El Rapha Hospitals and Diagnostics and for three years we have helped several couples start a family and build a happy home and also enhancing their quality of life.

THE HOW?

At El-Rapha Hospitals and Diagnostics, we have a world class IVF Clinic that operates in accordance with international best practices. We have top tier advanced facilities that enables us to be a national leader in IVF and fertility procedures.

The past three years has seen a tremendous growth in our patients and the quality of services we render.

We have 2D, 3D, and 4D ultrasound scanners to create the best visual bond between mother and child. We also offer the following services;

  1. Gynecology
  2. Maternity
  3. Endoscopic surgery
  4. Laparoscopy
  5. Hysteroscopy
  6. Pediatrics
  7. Surgical Specialists
  8. Medical Specialists
  9. Laboratory
  10. Pharmacy
  11. Immunization

We offer 24 hour services in other to fully take care of the family and enhancing the quality of their lives. We do this with the utmost professionalism, attention to detail and care.

As we celebrate our three years of excellence and providing quality health care services we will be offering free and discounted servicers across board as our way of saying thank you for trusting us and letting us care for you.

For more information and inquires kindly visit our social media pages.

3 LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO INCREASE CHANCES OF FERTILITY WITHOUT IVF

In vitro fertility (IVF) is a fertilization process where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body. It is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) used for infertility treatment and gestational surrogacy. This process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulation process, removing an ovum or ova (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a laboratory.

In vitro fertility and other fertility treatments are huge improvements to the rates of infertility  in the world today. Although, various causes of infertility has to be ruled out before an individual or couples can be considered infertile. Infertility is when you can not get pregnant after having unprotected, regular sex for six months to one year, depending on your age. However, couples may not be able to conceive and this may not be medically related. At EL-RAPHA we have noticed over time through consultations with patients and research that there are non-health related circumstances that may lead to infertility in couples.

OVERWEIGHT:

   An unhealthy weight can affect fertility in both men and women, a healthy body needs little amount of fat for proper functioning of the reproductive, hormonal and immune systems. Over weight or obesity refers to the body weight that is greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height. Hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation(the release of egg from the ovaries) may lead to infertility in a woman with an unhealthy weight. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility can also be as a result of obesity.

   Men who are overweight may not be able to develop healthy sperm. For couples trying to conceive, if the man is overweight, he will have to reach a more healthy weight at least three months before conception.

ALCOHOLISM

 This is an uncontrollable consumption of alcohol which does not only affect fertility but also many other health related issues. Drinking alcohol may increase the time it takes to get pregnant and reduces the chances of having a healthy baby. For men, alcoholism reduces sex drive (libido), sexual performance and the quality of sperm, causing impotency.

SMOKING

There are various risks of smoking, ranging from heart, vascular and lung disease to infertility. Smoking can lead to infertility in both men and women, and this is twice the rate of infertility in nonsmokers. Fertility treatments such as IVF may not be able to fully overcome the effects of smoking on fertility. There is no safe limit for smoking, the only way is to quit. Quitting smoking can improve fertility in both men and women.

 It is important to note that making some lifestyle changes may increase chances of conception but also consulting a fertility clinic like EL-RAPHA, we will create an even better chance. EL-RAPHA offers a highly professional fertility medical team that can pin point the actual cause of infertility in couples and we also offer quality, affordable and specific solutions to help couples conceive.

WORLD STROKE DAY

Stroke  is a sudden interruption in blood supply to the brain. This simply means that, for some reasons, blood suddenly stops flowing into the brain as it should, depriving the brain of oxygen and nutrient. This could be caused by an abrupt blockage of arteries that channels blood to the brain or bleeding into brain tissue when a blood vessel bursts.

When this happens, the brain cells start to die within minutes.  A stroke is therefore, a medical emergency, which requires prompt treatment in other to minimize brain damage and potential complications. If you suspect someone around you is having a stroke, here is how to confirm.

*Tell the person to smile .If the face droops to one side, it is most likely a stroke.

*Try to raise both arms; if one arm drifts downwards or is unable to raise one arm, call for emergency.

*Dialogue with the person. If you notice a slur in the speech, a stroke might be on its way.

*Ask the person basic questions; Stroke patients usually encounter confusions and  difficulty remembering and understanding speech.

*Hold up fingers and ask the patient to count. Blurred vision, doubled vision or blackened vision are signs of stroke.

*Try to make the person work a short distance. Sudden dizziness, loss of balance and loss of coordination depicts a stroke attack.

If you observe any of the above signs, please call for emergency immediately. Engage the person in a calm and reassuring conversation to keep the brain cells active and the patient conscious. Make sure they are breathing properly and keep them warm. Do not give them anything to  eat or drink and observe conditions to report to medical personnel when they arrive.

Stroke is avoidable, as well as many other conditions that could lead to medical emergencies. Finally, to prevent stroke, eat healthy, exercise daily, monitor your blood pressure and sugar level, and avoid excessive smoking and drinking. El-Rapha hospital and Diagnostics cares about you and your health. Book for and appointment to see a doctor today, take preventive measures and avoid Stroke.

EIGHT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM

1
Hyperemesis gravidarum is the medical term for ‘morning sickness’ although it is more severe and is marked by symptoms such as intractable and persistent nausea, vomiting that could lead to electrolyte and metabolic disturbance, dehydration and nutritional deficiency and sometimes could require the hospitalization of the patient. It occurs in pregnant women
2.
Statistically in happens in three out of a hundred pregnancies.

3.

It is the most common cause of hospitalization in pregnancy usually due to the severe dehydration it causes. The cause of hyperemesis is unknown but it has been linked to the presence of higher level of hormones like oestrogen or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) during pregnancy.

4.

Women who are at a higher risk of experiencing hyperemesis:

  • Those that had it in previous pregnancies,
  • Women with a family history of hyperemesis,
  • Women pregnant with multiple babies.

5.

It usually starts between the sixth and eighth week of pregnancy and peaks by the twelfth week. Nausea and vomiting normally ends at the first trimester for most women but women diagnosed with hyperemesis usually experience it throughout their pregnancy.

6.

It can be clinically diagnosed by your physician after all other causes of nausea and vomiting in pregnant women have been eliminated.

7.

No research has linked hyperemesis to problems relating to foetal organ development and health risks to the foetus in women with hyperemesis are minimal but there are risks of low birth weight or premature babies. Also, women with hyperemesis have lower rates of miscarriage.

8.

Women with hyperemesis are usually advised to combine rest, hydration, consumption of food in smaller portions and avoiding whatever triggers that provoke n

MANAGING YOUR PREGNANCY: WHAT TO EXPECT

Many women, especially first time mothers usually do not know what to experience during their pregnancies. This is one of the reasons why there are ante-natal classes. This post highlights some of what is to be expected.

You will experience various changes in your pregnancy, some significant, others not so much, it is very imperative to reach out to your doctor if you feel or notice anything different. A minute or two on the phone for discussion and reassurance may save you hours or days of apprehension.

There are no silly questions in pregnancy.

WHAT TO EXPECT

·       Change in Emotions

Everyone has hormones and they are chemicals that circulate in the bloodstream. They carry messages to different parts of the body and result in certain changes taking place. During pregnancy, the level of female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone increases in the blood. causing the uterus lining to build up, blood supply to your uterus and breasts increases and the muscles of your uterus relaxes to make room for the growing baby. This increase in hormone levels can affect how you feel; you may

get easily irritated, feel tearful or even have mood swings. For a while you could also feel that you cannot control your emotions, but these symptoms should ease after the first three months.

·       Bleeding

It is not unusual for light bleeding to occur at various stages in the pregnancy. The bleeding is usually light and not painful. However, it is difficult to be completely reassuring in this situation, and it is advisable for you to come in and be checked by a scan to confirm that the baby is healthy and that the foetal heart is present.

·       Swelling

Women often complain of swollen ankles and nearly every woman has some degree of noticeable swelling during pregnancy, particularly in the last trimester. Swelling on its own is a common feature of pregnancy, and is not associated with any risks to the mother or baby. The one thing that we do look out for is any elevation of the blood pressure – that would be a significant problem.

·       Heartburn

Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the middle of your chest often accompanied by a bitter taste in the mouth and it is a common complaint in pregnancy, it usually occurs in the second and third trimester but comes earlier for some women. If you do have heartburn, you do not need to ‘suffer it bravely’ through your pregnancy. It is advisable to not lie down immediately after eating and also avoid spicy and greasy food. You should check in with your doctor if it persists

·   Constipation

Constipation is a common problem caused by a change in bowel habits in pregnancy, often with some bloating and constipation. Women with irritable bowel syndrome may notice some worsening of the symptoms.

·       Hunger

During pregnancy, it is pretty common to experience increased appetite, especially in the second trimester when morning sickness fades, cravings pick up and you need more calories to feed your ever-growing baby

·       Weight gain

It is not unusual to gain between 10kg and 12.5kg while pregnant, most of the extra weight is due to the baby growing. Gaining a lot of weight can affect your health and increase your blood pressure but it is also important to know that dieting while pregnant is not advised, just eat healthily and try to control your portions. Also, stay active and keep up your normal daily activities or try a little exercise. If you are concerned, talk to your midwife or GP.

Others include Varicose Veins, Preterm Labour, and Preeclampsia.

Remember that your body is housing a new life and it is very normal for changes to occur. Do not hesitate to call your physician if you notice any changes.

SECONDARY INFERTILITY – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

People who have had babies can be infertile too…

Many parents struggle with this, partly because they cannot grasp the fact that it is possible to be unable to sire a child after previously having one.

Secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant after a previous birth irrespective of whether the said child is alive or dead. Globally, almost 3 million couples are affected; secondary infertility accounts for one-third of visits to a fertility specialist.

 

 

WHAT CAUSES IT?

Many of the causes of secondary infertility are the same as for primary infertility. Age-related issues are however a common reason as fertility rates drop sharply as a woman ages and it is more difficult to get pregnant after the age of 35.Various diseases such as increasing reproductive hormonal problems, endometriosis, thyroid disease, irregular ovulation and periods, infections that can scar fallopian tubes, fibroids or polyps of the uterus, adenomyosis of the uterus, and also a decline in egg quality are associated with getting older.

Secondary infertility could also be as a result of complications from the first pregnancy and birth e.g. scarring from a Caesarean section or a miscarriage. Ageing is related to increasing reproductive hormonal problems, thyroid sickness, irregular ovulation and intervals, infections which can scar the fallopian tubes, fibroids or polyps of the uterus, endometriosis in the pelvis, adenomyosis of the uterus and weight benefit. Even when those troubles do not occur, growing age is constantly associated with a reduced excellent or quantity of eggs. All of those are viable explanations for secondary infertility in ladies.

Although uncommon, getting pregnant a second time can be be related to the first one. There may be scarring of the uterus after a D&C following a miscarriage or placental-related complications. Other styles of surgeries on the uterus may additionally have an effect.

Secondary infertility can also be caused by problems in men, in fact, male infertility is the number one clinical issue in approximately 25% of infertility cases, and a contributing factor 25% of the time. A large percentage of male infertility instances is due to low sperm count.

There is more than one explanation for a decline in sperm quality, quantity or transport. Age, Azoospermia (absence of sperm cells in semen samples), Asthenospermia (progressive motility of sperm is less than 32%) etc. are some causes of infertility in men. Sexually transmitted infections, stress, obesity, abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs, exposure to certain chemical substances and/or excessive heat are also contributing factors.

HOW IS SECONDARY INFERTILITY DIAGNOSED?

Multiple factors could be responsible for secondary infertility; it could be due to one or each of the above named factors so an intensive assessment is carried out by your doctor  in order to be sure of the causes and take necessary action.

WHY YOU SHOULD SEE A FERTILITY EXPERT

It is advised to be proactive with your health so the earlier you see one, the earlier you get a diagnosis and thus proper treatment. If you are 35 or older, you should seek treatment after six months of unprotected sex and 12 months if younger.

If you however experience abnormal menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, hormonal troubles, weight problems, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, etc., see your gynaecologist or a fertility expert right away.

TREATMENT

Treatments for secondary infertility are the same as for primary infertility. Treatments may include:

  • Fertility drugs
  • Injectable fertility drugs, known as gonadotropins
  • IUI – The procedure itself involves transferring specially washed semen directly into the uterus via a thin catheter.
  • In-vitro fertilization, sometimes in combination with other assisted reproductive options
  • Surgery, usually laparoscopic surgery, to repair blocked fallopian tubes, or to remove fibroids or endometriosis deposits

New Born IVF Babies

We welcomed a set of quadruplets today at #ElRapha via #IVF and we are beyond excited!

Mummy and babies are doing very fine.

We will continue to provide the best fertility treatment which will wipe away all the tears of the childless couples.

We are at lifecamp, between holy family Catholic Church and Stella Marris college, life camp Abuja

Please call these numbers for further enquiries 09098889015 or 09098889013

#IVF
#Fertility
#ivfjourney #ivfsuccess #obstetrics #gynaecology #hospital #clinic

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER FREEZING YOUR EGGS

Cryopreservation is a welcome fertility technology that has taken the weight of the pressure of the ever running ‘’biological clock’’ off women.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE YOUR EGGS FROZEN?

This process also known as cryopreservation involves freezing unfertilized eggs harvested from your ovaries in order to be used at a later time. This is done via a process called vitirification. As with other aspects of life, cryopreservation provides a promising second option for women who want to undergo medical treatments proven to be toxic to their eggs or ovaries ; same for those that could delay childbearing e.g chemotherapy. Also, women who for some non-medical reason want to delay getting pregnant.

The best part about cryopreservation is that the eggs are not affected by the age at which she comes back to use them. It is however important to note that the age a woman chooses to freeze her eggs greatly determines the success of this technology. Although this is up for debate, it is advised that this is done by women 35 years or younger.

DECIDED TO FREEZE, WHAT IS NEXT?

The first step in your journey of freezing your eggs is having a consultation with a fertility expert so as to assess your fertility and overall health. You will be prescribed a few days of hormone injections and you will make a few short trips to the hospital for proper ‘monitoring’.

In a typical cycle, your ovaries produce one egg but these injections are meant to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs in one menstrual cycle. Your response to these medications will be tracked by blood tests and transvaginal ultrasound.

THE EGG RETRIEVAL PROCESS.

The egg removal or harvesting procedure is scheduled once your eggs are mature; your doctor inserts a needle through your vaginal wall and retrieves several eggs from your ovary. This is done under sedation and is painless with no cuts and stitches. The process of the freezing ends here for you but your eggs are taken to the laboratory where they are immediately frozen in a state-of-the-art laboratory specifically designed for cryopreservation.

HOW LONG CAN THESE EGGS STAY FROZEN FOR?

Some people have frozen their eggs for as long as ten years and even more, long-term storage of frozen eggs does not result in any decrease in quality.

The eggs are thawed, injected with a sperm to achieve fertilization, and transferred to the uterus as embryos whenever the patient is ready to attempt pregnancy, perhaps in years to come.

CAN I FREEZE MY EGGS AFTER THE AGE OF 35?

As earlier mentioned, women are advised to freeze their eggs because the quality of the eggs is not affected by the age at which she chooses to use them so it is therefore safe to say that the chances of older women achieving future pregnancy at the time of freezing is slimmer than in younger women.

For further information on freezing your eggs at our facility, please call:  09098889013

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