Dr Hope Quashie Mensah, a gynecologist at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra has called on the public to desist from stigmatising couples trying to conceive by calling them infertile.
According to him, couples with fertility issues could be treated, thus the need to change such description from infertility to sub-fertility.
“When we say someone is infertile it means you have condemned them and such a person can never have children. But medically, we prefer to call it sub-fertilebecause their challenges could be addressed,” he said
Dr Mensah, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times said, in the absence of any reproductive health problem a couple who have continuous sexual intercourse within the first three months to a year after marriage, should get pregnant.
Should that not happen, he said, they must seek medical help from health experts who would diagnose the problem and advise on the way forward.
“If you are having challenges in conceiving after failed attempt, the best you can do is to see a doctor and not a pastor or herbalist,” he said
According to him medical doctors (gynecologists) are endowed with all the skills and expertise to advise, diagnose and prescribe solutions to couples struggling with childbirth.
Dr Mensah said there were so many medical solutions such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection), clomiphene among others to assist such couples to have their own children if so desire.
He said it was time couples get the needed support from the society, rather than being stigmatised.
“Society use children to boast, especially when people meet at an event. They are like my child is this, my child is that so if you do not have children and you are among them, you feel uncomfortable”.
“Another issue is placing importance on inheritance and next of king. Almost every document you fill, there is a place to input your next of kin, and if you have children it’s so easy to do it, just produce their names and off you go,” he said
Dr Mensah said fertility problems could affect both men and women, therefore there was no need to subject women to ridicule and make them go through so much pain.
“Gone are the days when people had no idea that men too could not produce children. Now research has shown that about 60 per cent of men have challenges regarding child birth.”
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG