IVF couples need to look after their emotions too
A fertility doctor in Nigeria has urged couples undergoing IVF treatment, or otherwise suffering with infertility, to make sure they take care of their emotional well-being, as well as their physical health.
Infertility and IVF can put a lot of strain on the couple’s relationship and has even been known to break up couples, especially in cases where treatment is unsuccessful.
Executive Director of Hope Valley Fertility Clinic, Dr. Micheal Ogunkoya, encourages all his patients and their partners to undergo counselling prior to, during and after treatment, so they can explore any issues they want to deal with, in a safe and comfortable environment.
He believes that successful counselling is an important part of the treatment of infertility and credits his facility’s success on their approach to emotional health.
“We have recorded high success rates. From our records, I think we are the best in the country using Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) and among the best in the world not just in terms of rate of conception but the delivery of services to the couples,” Dr Ogunkoya said.
He added; “To me, counselling is important because this is a highly emotional problem. Therefore the patient needs to be handled with patience and that goes a long way in securing confidence of the patient in allaying their fears and anxieties. Our job is far more than that of somebody who sees a patient and give medications. A lot of counselling is involved even before you start treatment because you need to build the confidence of the patients in order to secure the best options of treatment for them”.
Dr Ogunkoya hopes his approach will be adopted by other UVF centres in Nigeria and throughout the world. He has seen an increase in the number of women seeking help at his clinic, but believes this is not due to any increase in fertility, but more likely and increasing awareness that IVF can help many couples and that there is now the support network in place to help them.