A gynaecologist and an expert in In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) based in Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Oladipo Shittu, has debunked misconceptions in some quarters that children born through In Vitro Fertilisation normally develop mental health issues during their stages of development.
He said children born through IVF are normal and beautiful, adding that such claims can only be found to be true if the person in question has a hereditary problem.
Dr. Shittu who is the Chief Executive Officer of Shelterd’ IVF and Fertility Centre, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State stated this while fielding questions from newsmen on Saturday at a media briefing to mark the 2nd anniversary of the centre, located along Oron road, Uyo, the state capital.
He said, “A child born through IVF is totally normal and beautiful. Some people have the misconception that babies born through IVF have mental problems, it is totally untrue unless the woman has a hereditary problem.”
The medical doctor who is also a fellow of the West African College of Surgeons with special training in IVF also faulted the claim by some religious leaders that IVF is a man trying to be God.
According to him the beliefs by some religious leaders that IVF is ungodly is not true, adding that he has since the establishment of the Centre, deconstructed such misconceptions in the state.
He added “Misconceptions are rife, Some religious leaders believe that IVF is ungodly, that it is a man trying to be God, and I must say that when I brought IVF to the state, I have to deconstruct the misconception about IVF, it is not a man trying to be God, rather it is the idea that God impacted in man because God is a scientist.
Continuing he said “When we transfer embryos we have absolutely no power over the implant, we always tell patients that when we transfer we have no power to the implant, it is only God that determines implantation. So, IVF is a man being used by God and not a man trying to be God.
“People also have this misconception that IVF is only for the rich, this is not true, IVF is not as expensive as it used to be, in those days, you need to have 2 to 3 million naira, although there has been a lot of research to bring down the cost of IVF, sometimes you have fee discount so that more people can assess it. Some people also believe that IVF is for the elderly, but that is also not true, it’s for everybody who has fertility issues,” Shittu said.
The medical expert who disclosed that the anniversary celebration coincided with the delivery of a triplet in the centre said though the impression is that IVF and many advanced treatment options for infertility have the reputation of being very expensive and untouchable financially, he has brought a message of that IVF is not so costly and many people with fertility issues have embraced it in the state.
“We also want to tell the people of Akwa Ibom that they do not need to go outside the state or the country for treatment, IVF is available here in Uyo.
“When we started this centre two years ago, our message was that IVF works, it is considered the best treatment for people that are considered infertile in old age, for people that have unexplained infertility, for people that have blockage of the fallopian tube, people that want a particular gender, for a couple that are AS, AS, they can have sickle cell free babies,” he said.