" />
Published On: Mon, Nov 9th, 2015

Diseases that fuel fertility (1)

By UCHE AKOLISA  |

A wide range of health conditions ranging from sexually transmitted infections to chronic diseases can affect fertility in both men and men, experts have said.

Oral-Gonorrhea-5Sometimes something as simple as high fever which is associated with discomfort and  body weakness may impede optimal functioning of the reproductive organs albeit temporally, but the commonest and most virulent cause of infertility are sexually transmitted infections(STIs).

The worst culprits when it comes to STIs that affect fertility are the trio of Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis.

Gonorrhea is an STI caused by the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis while Syphilis is caused by the spirochete bacterium, Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum which infects people by burrowing into the moist mucous membranes of the mouth or genitals.

Signs and symptoms

The mode of transmission for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and  syphilis is through vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person or from an infected mother to her unborn child during vaginal childbirth.

Symptoms of gonorrhea include burning sensation while urinating, whitish yellowish discharge, and swollen testicles though sometimes the symptoms go unnoticed when it is first contacted. Individual.

Symptoms of Chlamydia as outlined by Dr Joseph Akinde, a gynaecologist include, pains during urination, swelling of the testes, discharge in men and in  women,  abnormal vaginal discharge, burning sensation when urinating, lower abdominal pain, low back pain, pain during intercourse and spotting(bleeding between periods). All these symptoms  come one to three weeks after intercourse with an infected person or much later . Dr Akinde revealed: “ When you take a sample of the discharge, in case of Gonorrhea, you will be able to culture it but in Chlamydia, you won’t be able to. Routine test cannot identify the causative organism, so you need a special test.”

According to  www.nhs.uk.com, symptoms of syphilis, include painless sore or open around the genitals, lips, mouth  tonsils, fingers or buttocks at the primary stage(10 days to three months after first contact). At the secondary, a non-itchy skin rash on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet, small skin growths on the vulva or around the anus, flu-like symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, joint pains and fever and swollen lymph glands  and  weight loss. It progresses to the latent stage, where the syphilis infection  shows no symptom though can still be passed on. At the tertiary stage, it can manifest as stroke, dementia ,paralysis, blindness, deafness, heart disease, skin rashes and even death.

According to Dr Akinde, syphilis causes ulceration of the genital tracts in both sexes(painless sore on the penis or the vagina or anus. The ulcer heals up after about six weeks and is followed by symptoms like a sick feeling including a fever, headache, rash, sore throat and swollen glands. If left untreated for many years, syphilis can cause serious complications such as infertility, problems with the  heart, blood vessels, bones and the skin.

STIs as a public health concern

Sexually transmitted infections including Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis are a public health concern. According to WHO, an estimated 500 million people acquire one of four sexually transmitted infections  chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.

In Nigeria, there are little or no official statistics on the trio of Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis as cases are underreported.  Most patients do not report to hospitals but resort to self- medication due fear of stigma or high cost of healthcare. Many of them patronize quacks and charlatans who experts fear, further complicate their fertility chances.

How they affect fertility

These infections are known to cause structural damage to the reproductive system in both men and women, thereby posing dangerous threat to fertility. They could go undetected for long or lead to acute symptoms, chronic infection and serious delayed consequences such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous, stillbirth, and deaths of both infants and adults.  In women, they could cause pelvic inflammatory disease which is responsible for 30% to 40% of cases of female infertility.

Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes and infertility(in both men and women. According to estimates by fertility experts, one- third of all IVF treatments are needed due to damages caused by Chlamydia which is known as “silent disease.” If left untreated, syphilis is known to cause spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and congenital syphilis and in extreme cases, deaths.  MedicineNet.com, an online medical resource site, noted that at the chronic stage, syphilis may affect the brain and can cause paralysis.

The gynaecologists who spoke to Business Hallmark noted that gonorrhea leads to tubal blockage in women and blockage of the spermatic duct in men. Gonorrhea can also leads to inflammation of the epididymis (the  tube leading from the testes to the vas deferens where the sperm mature).  This can lead to infertility if left untreated.

A Consultant Gynaecologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital,(LUTH), Dr Ayodeji Oluwole, who revealed that  Gonorrhea and Chlamydia  are common but ‘less quickly diagnosed in Nigeria, said, “The bacterial infections are the most commonest and the most virulent. These infections can destroy a man or woman’s ability to procreate. For men, these infections could lead to azoospermia(no sperm at all). Some may have oligospermia-reduction in sperm or low sperm count.”

A gynaecologist, Dr Joseph Akinde, of Living Spring Hospital, Ejigbo Lagos noted that just like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia causes the blockage of the tube in women and the spermatic duct, and the testes in men.

According to Dr Akinde, Gonorrhea is usually asymptomatic in women but in men, symptoms that presents two to five days after intercourse with an infected person include painful urination, pains during sexual intercourse and a prurient pus/or discharge from the urethra.

They do not only impair fertility but also make their sufferers vulnerable to HIV infection.

Treatment

STIs sufferers are advised to seek medical help fast to forestall damage to their reproductive organs. Health experts say all the three infections are best treated early with antibiotics. “A lot of these STIs present in such a classical way that we have antibiotics they are sensitive to, noted Dr Akinde.

There are antibiotics which are WHO recommended syndromic treatment for the causative organisms responsible for  both gonococcal and non-gonococcal infections. According to medical experts, syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages with a single intramuscular injection of the antibiotic, penicillin, if it is less than a year. Additional doses are needed to treat someone who has had syphilis for a longer period.

Early treatment is of utmost importance because, for instance in the case of syphilis, shortly after infection occurs, the body produces syphilis antibodies that can be detected by blood test. A low level of antibodies stays in the blood for months or years even after the disease has been successfully treated.

Experts advise against self-medication when treating any of these infections to prevent  further damage. There are growing concerns that some of these STIs are growing resistant to antibiotics. A recent report by the US Centre for Disease Control(CDC) revealed that gonorrhea is growing resistatnt to many antibiotic treatment options. Consequently, medics advise sufferers against self-medication. Concurrent treatment of partner is also recommended. Patients undergoing treatment are also advised to abstain from sexual contact with partners until they are healed.

Prevention better than cure

The best way to protect against Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis is abstinence. Dr Akinde advocated sticking to mutually monogamous relationship with uninfected partner. Some experts recommend consistent use of condom though they admit that condom is not 100% effective as in cases like syphilis infection, the genital sores can occur in areas that are not covered by a condom.

 

 

 

Medtronic, Renescor Partner To Provide Cardiac Services


UCHE AKOLISA

Leading global medical technology solutions company, Medtronic, and Renescor Limited Liability Partnership, have signed a partnership deal to bring high quality cardiac care and healthcare managed services to the  Gbagada Cardiac and Renal Centre (CRC) in Lagos.

The agreement, which runs for a term of four years, will see Medtronic Integrated Health Solutions Department partnering with Renescor to help finance, manage, and optimize services in Cath-Labs, OR and ICU. The partnership consists of end-to-end management of these units, which includes operational support, staffing and material management, deployment of the latest Cardiovascular Information System, operational excellence Lean/Six sigma consulting services, continuous performance assessment and benchmarking services, advising on and implementation of growth programs, as well as training and education services for cardiovascular therapies.  The aim is to transform CRC into a leading regional centre that achieves global standards of care in line with international leading institutions.

The Chairman of Renescor, Dr Ladi Awosika, explained that Nigeria is in desperate need for efficient Cath-Labs and operating rooms (OR) to treat more patients locally.

“Lagos currently has only two operational Cath-Labs to serve a population of 16 million and is in critical need of more,” he noted.

Dr. Ladi said that the choice of Medtronic informed by its size, over 65 years of experience and positive track record of delivering value to their customers and partners.

“Our collaboration will ensure the hospital is run to the highest global standards of care quality, efficiency, patient safety, and optimized capacity to help more patients be treated.”

Renescor was recently awarded a five-year concession agreement by the Lagos State Government to activate and bring high quality services to the CRC and is partnering with Medtronic to help manage CRC’s Cath-Lab, Operating Room (OR) and ICU.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • FG grants PPAs of 14 solar projects another 6 months extension

    For the second time since 2016, the Federal Government  has extended by another six months, the deadline for the execution of the power purchase agreements (PPAs) it signed with investors for 14 utility solar power projects to be built in some states of the country. According to OGN reports it was reportedly rolled over after […]

  • Dangote Sugar targets 25% sales volumes in 2018

    The acting Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Abdullahi Sule, believes the company’s  sales volumes could rise as much as 25 percent in 2018 after last year’s downturn. Nigeria’s economy, which contracted in 2016, is recovering after the government relaxed some currency controls implemented after the price of oil, its main export, crashed in […]

  • Emefiele dismisses fears over MPC meeting, insists economy is strong

    The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has allayed the fears of Nigerians and the international community over the inability to hold the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for January. A statement signed by Emefiele in Abuja on Monday, said that the meeting, which was earlier scheduled for the day […]

  • Nigeria, Angola crude overhang could pressurize Asian crude

    Traders have said that unsold barrels of crude from West Africa could put pressure on the premiums of Malaysian crude cargoes for March loading.   Platts reports that weaker demand, particularly from independent refineries in China, for February-loading Angolan and Nigerian grades has resulted in an overhang, traders said. Traders indicated that these grades were […]

  • NBS: 77.5m Nigerians engage in economic activities in Q3

    The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says 77.55 million people are engaged in economic activities out of a labour force of 85.08 million in the third quarter of 2017. The NBS disclosed this in a “Labour Force Statistics Volume 2: Employment by Sector report for Third Quarter of 2017’’ released by the bureau on Monday […]

  • Lassa fever: Schools reopen in Ebonyi

    Public and private schools in Ebonyi shut on Jan. 18 to check the spread of Lassa fever outbreak in the state have reopened the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Prof. John Eke, the Commissioner for Education, told NAN on Monday in Abakaliki, that the schools were reopened as no new case of the disease […]

  • Four major markets in Nigeria need 36.27MW to grow efficiency – REA

    A baseline survey of the energy needs of four of the major markets in Nigeria, which the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) conducted, has indicated that with 36.27 megawatts (MW) of stable electricity provided to them, economic productivity in the markets could expand and bring more prosperity to about 50,900 shop owners there, OGN reports. The […]

  • ALSCON: Nigeria, Russia sign Share Purchase agreement

    Nigeria has signed the Renewed Share Purchase Agreement with Messrs UC Rusal of Russia in respect of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON). The agreement was signed in in Abuja on Friday by the relevant government stakeholders, including the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi. Present at the ceremony were the […]

  • Slimming drugs: Expert calls for stiff regulation

    Dr Bamidele Iwalokun, a medical researcher with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Yaba, Lagos, has called for stiffer regulation of slimming drugs to safeguard the health of consumers. Iwalokun made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday. He said there was the need […]

  • Derivatives trading: US expert speaks on the pluses and pitfalls

    As part of strategic initiatives to enhance the efficiency of capital market operations in Nigeria, The Nigerian Stock Exchange and Coronation Merchant Bank invited the former Chair of the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (US CFTC), Mr. James Stone to deliver a special lecture on ‘Pluses and Pitfalls of Derivatives Trading’ at the Nigerian Stock […]

  • Ajimobi: Oyo set to increase institutions subventions

    The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has appealed to the striking state-owned higher institutions that his administration is prepared to increase their subventions. The governor said this would be achieved as soon as government’s renewed efforts to improve its revenue-base begin to bear fruits. Ajimobi, who made the appeal while inaugurating the governing councils of […]

  • SEC’s e-dividend free registration ends Feb 28

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended period for the free e-dividend registration to Feb. 28, to encourage more shareholders participation in the initiative. The commission in a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, indicated that the extension was part of its developmental role. It said that the extension […]

  • Nigerian equities market goes bearish after hitting over nine year high

    FELIX OLOYEDE Profit-taking caused the Nigerian Stock market to go bearish for the first time this week after reaching over nine year high on Wednesday. The All Share Index declined -0.08 per cent to close at 44,848.74 point on Thursday after hitting 44885.24 point the previous day, the highest since September 2008 when it closed […]

  • 2019: Wike gets second term endorsement

    Residents of River state have endorsed the Governor, Nyesom Wike, for another term of four years. They declared their support for the governor when over 15,000 non-indigenes of the state visited the Government House on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the state capital, Channels TV reports. Wike urged Nigerians irrespective of their linguistic and religious affiliation […]

  • Banks enjoy improved liquidity as overnight rate drops three consecutive days

    FELIX OLOYEDE The redemption of Treasury Bills by Federal Government has helped to improve liquidity in Nigerian banking sector as overnight rate declined three consecutive times this week. Overnight (O/N) rate dropped -0.75 per cent to 5.75 per cent on Thursday, while Open Buy Back (OBB) rate was down -0.92 per cent to 5.25 per […]

  • Lassa fever: Ebonyi Schools proceed on forced break

    Schools in Ebonyi State have been directed to close for a week following the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state. The state government said the directive was given as part of measures to contain the spread of the disease in the state. Commissioner for Health, Umuzuruike Daniel, also confirmed the death of three victims […]