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Assisted Reproduction Techniques (Art): The State of the Art in Nigeria

Joseph I. Ikechebelu

Abstract


Background: Infertility has become a social stigma in our environment because of the erroneous belief that a childless marriage is a failed marriage. This has placed a lot of marriages under pressure. Therefore any solution to infertility is a welcome relief. This is where Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) belongs.

Aim: To present an overview of ART and review the state of the practice in Nigeria highlighting the benefits, limitations and the future of the ART.

Findings: ART has grown from its humble beginning with IUI and IVF & ET in only one centre in Nigeria to more advanced techniques like ICSI and TESE in 3 notable centres. ICSI has enjoyed a better pregnancy rate than even the conventional IVF because of high male infertility in Nigeria. High cost of procedure, lack of skilled personnel and poor infrastructures are the major obstacles to the growth of ART in Nigeria. However, the coming of more centres has led to a price reduction and partnership with foreign centres has also provided the needed skill and experience. The joy of an infertile couple having a child of their own remains a driving force for ART is Nigeria and any success is a reduction in the infertility scourge.

Conclusion: ART has therefore brought a ray of hope for the infertile couple. It is becoming more available and affordable in Nigeria with improving success rate. It should not be condemned entirely as it can be a last resort for some infertile couple who can afford it.


Key words: Assisted Reproduction Techniques, Benefits and Limitations, Nigeria.


(J College Med: 2003 8(1): 1-6)



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