Doctors say cases of infertility are on the increase among urban couples and men are more affected than women.
KAMPALA - Men who smoke and those who consume alcohol are at greater risk of infertility, shows a study carried out by Ministry of health and Uganda Fertility Society.
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. The disease affects both men and women.
Doctors are seeing more cases where men are completely infertile or they lose their fertility for a number of reasons. They say cases of infertility are on the increase among urban couples and men are more affected than women.
"Exposure to certain environmental factors such as chemicals and radiation, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, use of drugs and steroids have contributed to infertility in men," notes Sarah Opendi, the state minister for health in charge of general duties.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, 10% of the couples cannot have children due to infertility. About 75% of these are due to sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), which lead to blockage of fallopian tubes in women and sperm ducts among men," reads the report.
The study shows that infertility in women is caused by ovulation disorders, uterine and cervical abnormalities, fallopian tube damage or blockage, often caused by inflammation of the fallopian tube. This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by STIs or adhesions (internal scar tissue).
"Women who are receiving cancer treatment and those whose menstruation ends before the age of 40 can also have difficulty in giving birth," according to the report.
It is from that background that the International Federation of Fertility Societies(IFFS) has organised an international conference on infertility to provide a unique opportunity for Africa's infertility care providers, trainers, researchers and policy makers to pool and share knowledge and experience with experts from across the world.
The conference will be at Serena Hotel on Thursday under the theme; "Infertility awareness, Access, capacity building and management in sub-Saharan Africa for happy families."