Any Woman Can Have Her Baby Irrespective of Age – Dr Kate Omonlei - Onoja speaks on why she is offering IVF treatment at 50% discount
Can you tell us a little about the fertility center?
Grabbo fertility center is a clinic located on number 2, 3rd avenue Gwarimpa in Abuja
For how long have you been running this fertility clinic?
We’ve been doing fertility treatments for quite some time now for over two years, even though this center came to be two years ago, I’ve been into fertility treatments in various places where I’ve worked before this center opened, and for over five years now, I have been into gynecological practices and management of fertility
What specific services do you offer here?
In Grabbo Fertility Clinic, we render wide range of services, we do treatment of any form of fertility generally and other aspects of gynecology, and any form of infertility which is both male and female infertility, we do detailed investigations of infertility and its causes and manage every form of infertility. We render services like In Vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer which is our major cause here. We also render other advanced fertility management like intracytoplasmic sperm injection for men that have problems with their semen like low sperm count or low motility or low morphology, we need advanced form of Invitro fertilization to help select the best semen for their wives so they can have their own biological children. We also do other forms like embryo donation, like women we notice don’t have eggs in their ovaries as a result of disease like endometriosis or as a result of age because we discovered that some people who have age on their side and they can’t produce eggs any longer, their ovaries are exhausted, so what we do for such women is that we look for donors that match their characteristics and we also get semen from their husbands and use to treat the egg and transfer into them instead of adoption, they get to carry these babies by themselves so they have the bond right from the uterus and are able to have their own children. For men, there are men who actually don’t have spermatozoa at all, we call it complete exospermia, and we’ve check their testis and they actually do not have. We also have services like sperm banking where people can actually have the semen to use to treat their wives so they can get pregnant and have kids. We also help with in Eggpreservation which is a very key aspect of fertility management because some people by virtue of not being married or something, they want to preserve their eggs so it doesn’t get wasted or something so we do oocyte cryopreservation and for such we stimulate them and harvest the eggs and help them to preserve it until such a time they are ready to use the eggs. For some women their husbands are not in town and yet they want to get treated, their husbands are abroad so what we do is that we get their husbands to come down and produces the semen and then we freeze it and use it for treatment anytime they are ready. Those are just some of the services we render here at Grabbo fertility clinic.
If I should take you back, you mentioned women who have reached menopause or for some reason or another, are not able to menstruate anymore, so that means that any woman at that stage can still carry a baby
Yes, a lot of people don’t know this but it’s very possible. Menopause means a woman’s ovaries have stopped producing eggs but the uterus is still there. All we need to work on the uterus and give them drugs to help their endometrine which is the essential part of the uterus that carries the baby, we give them drugs that will make the endometrine grow and then get donors, young girls that have very viable follicles in their ovaries, we stimulate them and get their eggs. Get their husbands semen, fertilize the eggs and then we put into this women and their able to get pregnant. The bond is there and the blood is here and they deliver and have their children
Is there an Age limit to IVF?
With IVF there is no age limit except the person doesn’t have interest. So for that we offer another service which is surrogacy, not that some people don’t have uterus but from problems in the past, their uterus is damaged from either dilation in the past and uterus is damaged and she cannot carry babies any more. What we do for such women is surrogacy, we get people who can help them carry their baby they have the eggs and the eggs are viable and then we harvest the eggs, we then get their husbands semen and get the eggs fertilized, get a surrogate mother who will carry the baby for them
Can you explain to us what IVF means?
IVF means Invitrofertilization, in full it is IVF and ET that is Invitrofertilization and Embryo transfer. IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology that helps to overcome the problem of infertility in couples. We notice that in our environment, the leading cause of infertility is infections. Where most women’s have blocked tubes and we need the sperm to swim from the vagina where it is deposited to the uterus through the tube and the egg produced from the ovaries swimming into the tube were fertilization will take place before the embryo will swim into the uterus for further growth but by virtue of infection or some other causes, this is not naturally possible for some couples and IVF helps to overcome this, what it does is it stimulates the women and we harvest the eggs and bring them out and get their husbands semen, mix it together and give it some time for fertilization to take place and growth , development will occur and this growth and development goes on in special machines called incubators. We put them in an incubator and give them time to develop and in 3-5days, we bring them out and see the ones that really growing and are actually viable, and by 5 days they would have produced the blastocyst and this blastocyst is really the baby, that’s the embryo. It’snow transferred into the woman’s uterus and in two weeks we expect a positive pregnancy test.
What has been your success rate so far?
Success rate in Grabbo fertility clinic has been wonderful. Worldwidesuccess rate is about 40%, this because there are some batches you do that could be 80% and some are not up to 80%. In Grabbo fertility clinic it has been very wonderful because of the sophisticated equipment we use here, we have recorded as high as 60% which even beats the worldwide success rate. So our clients and customers are very happy
We know you’re giving out a promo right now, we would like to know what informed that decision
Overtime in the management of infertility in Nigeria, we discover that infertility is there among our people, It has eaten deep into our people and so many marriages have crashed because of infertility. We noticed that this problem is not because the people don’t want to use the IVF for management of their infertility, we discover that their major problem has always been cost, because the drugs, media, consumables, IVF settings in the lab and bringing in these equipment is very expensive and we noticed that so many Nigerians are not able to use this facilities. We need to help the people out there that have these problems and don’t have money to run the cycle. For example each cycle costs 1-1.500, 000. That’s how much a couple will spend to treat infertility so in order to help the masses, we have to find a way to bring down the cost and we had to collaborate with companies that produce the consumable which is the drugs and they offered to give materials to us at a ridiculously low price that would help us to help us to bring down the price of IVF and make it accessible to couples that need it.
When does the promo start?
The Promo starts on the 1st of June and is supposed to last for 3 months and by the 31st of August we expect the promo to have expired. This is because the materials they are sending are limited. Within this period of time we expect women to come use up these materials and take advantage of the promo. Currently we are giving it at 500,000 naira. This is something that ordinarily costs 1-1.500, 000. But we are giving it at 500,000 which we think will help our women overcome their problems
What’s the response so far?
It has been wild, we weren’t expecting this much. That also helps to confirm that the reason people haven’t been using it is because of funds. So many people have been calling and sending in money, people we haven’t even met, because they know the space is limited. We expect people that are hearing this now to quickly come use it because after the promo it will go back to its original price
So what is the process of IVF?
The process of IVF practically for every woman should take up to 4-5 weeks because the woman has to come and we run some tests and all. The good thing about this promo is that both the drugs and the lab test the woman is doing areincluded. All you need to do is make the 500,000 payment and your treatment is done. If the woman comes for a visit, we access the woman which is called the initial assessment, within the time that the treatment will start. The treatment is a long protocol and usually we start on day 21 of the woman’s cycle and we down regulate for about 2-3 weeks depending on the woman’s respond to the drugs given after which we add another drug to stimulate for another 10-14 days then thereafter we do our harvest, wait for fertilization and we transfer after 5 days and the rest is history.