Couples in Northern are Facing Infertility Issues and Here is Why

Updated: Mar 23, 2022
By Abdulsalam Yunusa
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Infertility in couples is a global issue that often results in devastating psychological consequences and sometimes even breakup of marriages. If you have been trying so hard to conceive but unable to, you are not alone. According to the World Health Organization, 48 million couples and 186 million individuals live with infertility worldwide. These figures cut across both genders and result from a variety of causes.  

What is Infertility?

Infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy after at least 12 consecutive months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse if the lady is below the age of 35, or 6 months for a lady above 35 because of the chances of getting pregnant in women decreases as they age.  Nevertheless, women experiencing miscarriages are not considered infertile.

What Causes Infertility?

There are numerous causes of infertility in couples, and this can be classified as follows:

  1. Infertility due to problems with the female reproductive system
  2. Infertility due to problems with the male reproductive system

Causes of Infertility in Females

  1. Problems with ovulation e.g due to hormonal imbalance, tumors, eating disorders, excessive exercise as seen in athletes.
  2. Uterine fibroids
  3. Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  4. Blockage of fallopian tube e.g. due to untreated or poorly treated sexually transmitted diseases
  5. Complications of unsafe abortion
  6. Early menopause (total cessation of menstruation)
  7. Endometriosis
  8. Cancer of the female reproductive organs, as well as cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy

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Causes of Infertility in Males

  1. Abnormal production and function of sperm
  2. Abnormality with sperm transportation
  3. Cancer of male reproductive organ and cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  4. Overexposure to industrial chemicals and toxins
  5. Depression
  6. High blood pressure
  7. Abuse of steroids
  8. Substance abuse
  9. Alcohol use
  10. Regular exposure of the testicles to heat e.g via hot baths in bathtubs, sitting in close proximity to bus engines in local public transports

Risk Factors for Infertility

If you have any of the following risk factors, you are at a greater chance of becoming infertile, so it is important to know them and seek expert advice and care as soon as possible. This includes the following:

  1. Age (increase in age decreases fertility, especially in females)
  2. Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
  3. Excessive alcohol intake and drug use
  4. Exposure to toxins e.g. from industrial waste, household, and farm chemicals
  5. Obesity or underweight
  6. Untreated or poorly treated sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis.
  7. Stress and depression

How to Diagnose Infertility in Couples

After failing to conceive despite several attempts, a diagnosis of Infertility is made by fertility doctors. However, this is not until several investigations have been carried out.

Female Infertility is diagnosed by taking a detailed history, followed by conducting a physical examination of the pelvis, and a series of investigations such as blood tests, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, a transvaginal ultrasound, etc. The woman is also asked to record signs of ovulation at home

For males, history taking and physical examination are done as well, after which an ultrasound of the scrotum is performed to identify any testicular problem; blood hormonal tests are done to check hormone levels, while semen analysis is used to check the quantity and quality of the sperm.

Ways to Improve Fertility

Fertility can be improved by doing the following.

  1. Treatment of erectile dysfunction in males
  2. Maintaining normal weight
  3. Eating healthy food
  4. Use of fertility drugs to raise hormone levels necessary for conception
  5. Surgical opening of blocked fallopian tubes and removal of uterine fibroids in females
  6. Intrauterine insemination when sperm count of the man is low
  7. In vitro fertilization, I’m which the eggs and sperms are collected from the woman and man respectively, then fertilized before returning it to the uterus.

Fertility Clinics in Northern Nigeria

When having a strong suspicion of Infertility, or after getting diagnosed at a peripheral hospital, the next thing to do is visit a fertility clinic. Fertility clinics have a team of experts including urologists, gynecologists, chemical pathologists, radiologists, and other professionals that work together to help people trying to conceive.

Fortunately, the number of fertility clinics is now growing in northern Nigeria. You can get fertility treatment at teaching hospitals, some general hospitals, and several private fertility clinics.

Some fertility clinics in Northern Nigeria are:

  1. Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, and other teaching hospitals in northern Nigeria.
  2. NISA Fertility Hospital, Kaduna
  3. GetWell Hospital Kano
  4. Bridge Clinic Abuja
  5. Hope Valley Fertility Clinic, Kaduna
  6. Royal Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri
  7. AVON Healthcare, Kano
  8. Hyelhara Fertility Clinic Gombe

Prevention of Infertility

Preventing yourself from experiencing the brunt of infertility is something you will definitely want to do, especially if you are at risk. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Avoid pre- and extra-marital sexual intercourse
  2. Treat all sexually transmitted diseases timely and appropriately
  3. Stay physically active by engaging in moderate exercises appropriate for you
  4. Ensure good blood sugar control if you are diabetic
  5. Avoid drug abuse, alcohol, and cigarette use
  6. Consult with your physician and fertility expert for evaluation and advice before using any pharmaceutical or surgical contraceptive method
  7. Keep a healthy weight
  8. Avoiding the acquired risk factors as much as possible


Infertility in couples is no doubt an issue of serious concern, especially to the newlywed. It can affect couples emotionally, strain them financially, and sometimes even result at the end of their relationship. Seeking help as soon as you notice the problem is very important, as this will increase your chances to conceive.

Do you have a personal story about infertility that you would love to share with us? Please use the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!


What can cause Infertility in a couple?

The causes of infertility are numerous; this could be from structural abnormalities of either or both of the male and female reproductive systems, hormonal imbalance due to abnormalities of the endocrine system, diseases like diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases, excessive alcohol use, substance abuse, some medications, weight disorders, etc.

Can infertile couples conceive?

This depends on the cause of their infertility. With timely and appropriate evaluation and treatment, a good number of couples will be able to conceive. Some go ahead to conceive even without treatment. However, it is important to note that some causes are permanent, therefore such couples will not be able to conceive.

Can infertility break up a marriage?

Unfortunately, a lot of marriages break up due to infertility. While some break up after several failed attempts at treatment, other couples break up after putting in just a little effort to reverse the possible cause.

How can I help an infertile couple?

Do not rush to help infertile couples, until they are really interested in your help. This is a private matter, and some couples are okay despite their inability to conceive. However, when they are interested in your help, you can refer them to genuine fertility clinics with proven records of success.

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