Couples in Northern are Facing Infertility Issues and Here is Why

Couples in Northern are Facing Infertility Issues and Here is Why

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

READ ALSO: What You Need to Know About STDs

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.

The Northy Letter Week 49 December 2021

The Northy Letter Week 49 December 2021

My hands and feet are freezing right now and I could be in bed, enjoying some warmth but I have to write to you. We can’t lose communication, I know it’s important to me, is it important to you? Here are what we have for this week:


The New Year is approaching and I bet you have some plans for it. Maybe I can convince you to add one more thing to your list. Wouldn’t it be interesting to learn a new language? Yes? Yes! Here are 7 Quick Ways to Learn a New Language by Yourself Quickly. Just picture yourself mamacita-ing your way into Spanish.

It’s a little embarrassing that as I write to you now, my bio is nothing to write home about. I always feel I don’t have to try writing a good bio because I don’t have many great achievements and I go online and everything seems so much harder so I usually just wing it. But then, I’m trying to find a remote job and I have to write a better bio. Tell me we are in the same boat. If we are, Umar Farouk Kabir has a solution – How to Write a Professional Bio with Examples. 

Are you intelligent? Or an investor? What if I told you that you could be both? Pick up Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor and let’s make it work. You’re about to tell me you hate reading but is this how you want to live your life comrade? These are the 15 Books Every Investor Should Read. You’re smart, I know you’ll give them a chance.


You’re not a great spender, I am not either. I am so reckless with money and I can’t keep track of where they disappear to once I start going through them but with the help of Umar Farouk Kabir, I have The 10 Best Expense Tracker Apps in 2022 to start afresh. It wouldn’t hurt to start when the year starts.

Find Out Your Ideal Job When You Take This Quiz. If you’re confused as to what path to take in life, maybe this is a sign to take this quiz and find out. Don’t just fold your arms and wait for fate. We’ve never been quitters so let’s not start now.


You have heard of yeast infections, vaginal infections but you haven’t heard of vaginismus? Maybe this is because our society frowns upon conversations that are even in the slightest bit sexual. However, this is a major concern because This Woman Has a Rare Medical Condition, She Doesn’t Have a Hole. You should read this because Wow! Yeah, it is that shocking.

Pineapple is such a fruit and we have always known that fruits are good for pregnant women so why it is that pineapple is bad for them now? Find out on 10 Foods You Should Avoid When Pregnant, No. 5 is the Worst. I was shaking with anger until I saw the reasons, you’d stop shaking too if you saw them.


What’s that thing people say? What a man can do, a woman can do better. Such is the story of Queen Amina. A woman whose story passes down through the Hausa People. Read the Biography of the Great Queen Amina of Zazzau and see how she led an army of men into war.

I can bet a thousand dollars You Won’t Believe How the Famous Arewa Knot (Dagin Arewa) Originated. That thing is everywhere but I have always looked at it as a logo, nothing more. Turns out there’s more to it than being just a symbol.


Weekends are times of the week where you have more space to increase your kitchen expertise by trying new recipes or improving on the ones you have. On that note, learn How to Make Awara (Soya Beans Cake) and How to Prepare Your Delicious Dan Sululu. These are foods you eat not because you are really hungry but because you just crave them. The spice is out of this world.


I have a dream of home-schooling my kids until they are 5 years old because I truly believe home-schooled kids are smarter than their peers. Montessori Education as a Tool for Arewa Mothers is the best place to start. If you are thinking about this too, then I have got you covered for the future or now.

And we have come to the end of our newsletter for the week. I hope you had fun with it as I did, aaaaaand I can’t wait to see you next week bud!

This Is What You Need to Know About Rh Factor

This Is What You Need to Know About Rh Factor

According to the International Society of Blood Transfusion, there are over 33 known blood group systems. Blood groups are determined by the type of molecules and antigens present on the surface of red blood cells. The commonest blood group system is known as the ABO and it involves blood groups like A, B, O, and AB.

The rhesus blood group system is the second commonest and it is usually used along with the ABO in classifying blood groups. Simply put, you are Rhesus factor positive if you have the Rhesus factor in your blood and vice versa. So if your blood group is A+ for example, it means you have the A-antigen as well as the Rh factor antigen.

What is Rh Factor?

Rh factor is the short way of saying Rhesus factor. The name ‘rhesus’ factor can be traced to the use of red blood cells extracted from the blood of rhesus monkeys for obtaining the first blood serum. It is a type of protein found on the external surface of your red blood cells which you inherited from either of your parents.

You are Rh-positive if you have the protein, or Rh-negative if you do not have the protein. About 80-85% of people are said to be Rh-positive.

Why You Should Know Your Rh-Factor

Whether you are positive or negative, you have nothing to worry about as this does not affect your overall health in any way. You should only be concerned about it if you are going to have a blood transfusion or if you are pregnant.

This is because incompatibility can cause blood transfusion reactions and even pregnancy complications if you are Rh-negative and your baby is Rh-positive. In such a condition, you and your baby will require special care during and – to some extent even ­– after pregnancy.

Read Also: 7 Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Menstrual Cramps

What is Rh Factor Incompatibility?

If your unborn baby is Rh-positive and you are Rh-negative, you are at risk of Rh incompatibility. This only happens when the father is Rh-positive. During this pregnancy, antibodies are formed by your immune system against the Rh antigens of your baby. Antibodies are like soldiers that help to fight off enemies (antigens) that come into the body. Your baby is considered a foreign object, so once there is a mixing of blood from you two, your body will start to produce antibodies that will later destroy the red blood cells of your baby. This process is known as Rh Sensitization.

Rh sensitization usually does not affect your first pregnancy, because the mixing of your blood and that of your baby is likely not to occur until during childbirth. So, the problem begins with your second pregnancy. This can lead to the death of the baby while still in the womb, or the baby will be born with anaemia, jaundice as well as other problems.

This mixing of blood can also occur during a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, bleeding during pregnancy, injury to the abdomen, or even tests that require fluids to be withdrawn from your body during pregnancy. For instance:

  1. Amniocentesis: A test in which amniotic fluid – a sample of fluid that naturally surrounds and protects your baby while in the uterus is obtained to check for possible infections and other abnormalities
  2. Chorionic Villus Sampling: This involves the removal of a small part of the placenta for testing
  3. Cordocentesis: This involves taking a sample of your baby’s blood from its umbilical cord

How to Know Your Rh Factor

To know your Rh factor, all you need to do is a simple blood test with no special preparations required. This test is relatively cheap too. A healthcare professional will collect a small amount of blood from a vein in your hand or arm.

When you are pregnant, your blood group will be tested at the booking visit (first antenatal visit); if you are rhesus negative, your doctor might request a test known as antibody screen. This is aimed at determining whether your blood contains Rh antibodies.

Remember the blood soldiers I told you about earlier? If the test comes back positive, it means you are at risk for Rh incompatibility, but there is no need for you to worry.

What to Do If You Are at Risk of Rh Incompatibility

Now that healthcare professionals have confirmed that you have Rh antibodies that could destroy the red blood cells of your unborn baby and put them at risk, here is what can be done to keep your baby safe:

The doctors will keep a close watch on your baby’s health throughout pregnancy; some will need a blood transfusion immediately after birth because their red blood cells have been destroyed by the antibodies formed by your body; some will need the blood transfusion even before birth, while some will not require any transfusion at all.

If you are Rh-negative but no Rh antibodies were found in your blood, you will receive an injection known as RhoGAM. This injection will prevent the formation of those antibodies. It is usually given in the 28th week of pregnancy or within three days of possible exposure to Rh-positive blood from the baby as may occur from miscarriage, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, trauma, etc. as mentioned earlier.

RhoGAM injection can also be given to Rh-negative people who have been transfused with Rh-positive blood to prevent blood transfusion complications that may occur. In addition, there is now a new method of testing your unborn baby’s Rhesus factor, so with this, you might not even need to be given the injection after all. 


Now that you know this, I hope you and other women will always go early for antenatal care so that issues like rhesus incompatibility can be detected on time and managed appropriately. Also, to the unmarried ones out there, once you have found the man/woman of your dreams, rhesus factor difference is not enough a reason to stop you from tying the knot.

Do you have any questions or contributions to make? Please do not hesitate to let us know in the comment section.