There are few things more painful for a woman, more heartbreaking, more impossible to explain than the tearing agony of not being able to carry your own child.
Despite knowing this not to be true, you feel a failure of a woman; like the primary function of womanhood has somehow found you unworthy. Your otherwise logical brain cannot understand how something as procreation – so innate to all living species that even the simple sloth can do it is somehow too difficult for your body to do. It is a horrible feeling indeed.
The scourge of infertility is even greater increased due to the stresses of modern living. Couples are marrying later than ever before; the stresses of modern day living – traffic, deadlines, demands, longer working days, longer working lives – are really debilitating; some couples are on their second or third marriages before considering childbirth; and childbirth is constantly being pushed back for reasons based on career growth or stable income.
When that woman is African, and Nigerian in particular, this feeling is compounded exponentially. Add in-laws, Bibles, Qur’ans, younger ones getting pregnant everyday, friends, strangers and societal pressures to an already toxic mix of failure and disappointment, and it’s almost too much to bear.
It was the desire to lighten this load on the Nigerian Woman that spurred Dr Edmond Edi-Osagie, MD MRCOG on to open his own private clinic that deals specifically with fertility and pregnancy in ethnic minority women, specifically Afro-Caribbean women.
A Nigerian himself, Dr Edi-Osagie knows only too well the challenges our women have. He believes that a lot of us are not equipped with the basic knowledge and tips that aid fertility that the average western woman may have, and that in addition to some medical check-ups, we also direct a lot of our energies towards prayer and successful anecdotes from friends in a bid to remove the stain of barrenness:
“Ha! Me, I drank hot tea with lemons everyday for a month except the last Sunday. As soon as I finished the dosage, I fell pregnant the next Tuesday.”
“The hubby and I only did it just before I started ovulating and not during. It worked for us.”
“I spent 7 days and 7 nights on a mountain top and prayed and fasted all through. The very next month, I was pregnant!”
“My mother in law took me to one baba…”
“We only made love in xyz position. Not only did I get pregnant, it was A BOY!”
Basically, if we think it will get us pregnant, we will eat it, drink it, pray through it, or sleep with it; so extreme is the desperation for a child.
A lot of times, however, we have very little knowledge of the science involved in conception: the importance of diet, health, genes, previous medical history, and basic biological factors that come to play in this process.
Dr Edi-Osagie is trying to change this and create enlightenment one patient at a time. The Senior Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and having particular expertise in Assisted Conception and Reproductive Surgery, the fertility expert and gynaecologist is passionate about bringing scientific knowledge to ethnic minority women, tailoring advice and treatment to suit and soothe our unique blend of conception anxieties.
He has teamed up with Dr Yasmin Sajjad, MD MRCOG – a consultant gynaecologist who, by virtue of being Asian has seen similar challenges as those listed above for the African Woman in the Asian community. Together, the pair work with a small but dedicated team who are passionate about eradicating ignorance and bringing hope to patients.
The clinic, Cheshire Fertility Centre, specialises in services such as:
- Pre-conception counselling
- Fertility profiling and screening
- Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain
- Ovulation Induction
- IVF and ICSI
to name a few – many services that will be new phrases even to patients in the Afro-Caribbean community who have been trying to convince for a while.
Although based in Cheshire as the name of the clinic suggests, Dr Edi-Osagie and his partner offer outreach clinics to the neighbourhoods of London and Manchester, and soon to be in Birmingham and Wales.
As we are passionate here at Viva Naija about educating and elevating our own, we have teamed up with the Cheshire Fertility Centre to bring a series of podcasts that will answer as many questions as possible about fertility and conception issues. Of course, we are aware that we cannot deal with all the possible problems in these podcasts, but we will certainly do the best we can. Here’s to a healthier, happier you, and hopefully, one with a baby in tow.
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