He had visited a hospital to check a recurrent itch on his left thigh, close to his genitals. Nothing related. But, the doctor examined him further and proposed a thorough check-up, just to be sure. That’s when the doctor informed him that he had very weak sperm. The doctor confirmed that in his state, he couldn’t get a child. But, Ochieng (not his real name) had two children, a 5-year-old girl and a 2-year boy.
He couldn’t understand. He didn’t want to understand. There was only one way.
A DNA test.
And so, he sped home and in a matter of hours, he was enlisting the services of another doctor, unknown to his wife. When the results came out, there was no inch of similarity between him and the children. He was a loner. A man who had been tricked.
He had been outsmarted. He almost chose suicide just to end his woes and relax in the world of silence. And he was going to end his life but decided to confide in his mother about the woes that had befallen him, as a goodbye talk, to the one he valued most(though he didn’t tell her his intentions.) She understood his pain. She read his mind and sought a friend’s help, quickly.
Ochieng agreed to seek further medical advice in regards to his fertility.
As he struggled with his condition, another man in Lavington, Nairobi was having it rough in his life. He had been married for 4 years and his in-laws and the entire society back at Kakamega had expectations, which he was not meeting. According to everyone else, he should have gotten at least two children by then.
The man’s family openly suggested that he should consider divorce. They didn’t want ‘their son to feed a pig’ as they referred to her. She suffered a lot. She went from one hospital to another seeking medical aid. And when that didn’t work, they sought herbal medicine.
They even changed their diet in an effort to go ‘original’. As a last resort, they decided to also test the man’s fertility. It was a shock when the results came out and the doctor had to explain what it means to have “weak sperms”.
Such and many more cases are common even though seldom discussed. But now, there are statistics that strongly indicate that the level of potency among men may be higher than we imagined.
As quoted by the Nation, Dr Rajesh Chaudhary, the lead in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) specialist at Fertility Point mentions: “We have analysed samples from 2, 500 Kenyan men aged between 30 to 60 years in the past three years and our findings show 2, 000 of these men had a low sperm count.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies sperm counts at or above 15 million per millilitre (mL) of semen as average. Anything below that is considered low and is diagnosed as oligozoospermia.
Data from the World Bank shows that Kenya’s fertility rates have declined from 7.3 children per woman in 1960 to 5.1 in 2000.
Causes of low sperm count.
1. Hormonal imbalance issues such as hypogonadism which simply means reduced hormone production.
This is also caused by alcoholism or drug abuse.
2. It is a hereditary issue
Available Medical Treatments
Dr Rajesh explains that anyone suspecting potency issues can go for a fertility investigation through semen analysis. He notes that there are several procedures that can be done to enable men to sire children of their own.
1. Through Testicular Sperm Aspiration which involves passing a tiny needle directly to the testicles to retrieve seminiferous tubules for a check-up in the laboratory for an IVF-ICSI cycle.
2. The second method is called Testicular Sperm Extraction(TESE) which is a surgical procedure to remove some testicular tissue for the extraction of viable sperm.
3. Another procedure is referred to as Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) which involves inserting a syringe into the epidermis and then assisting the fluid.
It is recommended that men do semen analysis if, after one year, they haven’t managed to get a baby.
Some of the organizations that offer male fertility treatment and consultation. Source Google.
- Nairobi IVF Centre
- Kenya IVF and Fertility Research Centre
- Footsteps To Fertility
- WINGS IVF centre at NEPHROMED
- Ehs Fertility Clinic
- Fertility Point
- Assisted Reproduction centre