Infertility: Stigma Overturned for 61 Year Old Elisabeth

CRTV | She refers to herself as the second Elizabeth in the bible as she had gone pass the age of menopause and lost all hopes of having a baby of her own.

Her love for children was however showered on children of relatives and those of underprivileged homes in her community. While watching the news on a certain day, she learnt about in-vitro fertilisation.

“I got it from the News when a lady of 60 years put to birth. I saw it on CRTV Television news. Then I said myself what I am waiting for, if a woman of 60 years can have a baby. I was then 54 years old.” Madam Lum Elizabeth Neba explained.

She embarked on the 400 kilometre journey from Bamenda to Cameroon’s capital city, Yaoundé to give the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) a try. “It wasn’t easy. I was leaving Bamenda almost every two weeks and going back.” She added.

Her first attempt was unsuccessful and after close follow-up, she was safely delivered of her baby at the Applied Research, Endoscopic Surgery and Human Reproduction Hospital Centre, abbreviated in French as CHRACERH in Yaounde.

“My first visit here was in 2016 when the crisis started in Bamenda. Despite the crisis, I was coming and going back and in January 2019, God answered me after the second implantation.” Madam Elizabeth explained with a smile.

This experience has inspired her to encourage other women having difficulties in child bearing. To her, infertility is not a fatality as technology has made it possible for women to have children at any age.

Myths About Infertility

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC defines infertility as the inability to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex. The structure further explains that “fertility in women is known to decline steadily with age; some providers evaluate and treat women aged 35 years or older after 6 months of unprotected sex.”

Madam Lum Elizabeth Neba with her child
These scientific explanations notwithstanding, most rural communities in Cameroon hold several myths associated with infertility. While some are of the opinion that it may be a curse from the ancestors, others think infertility is a result of a reckless youthful lifestyle marred by numerous abortions.

In some cases, the women said to have been involved in the practice of witchcraft. Other think, it is simply because she is wicked and children refuse to come to her.

However, Health experts say women with infertility problems should consider seeing a reproductive endocrinologist—a doctor who specializes in managing infertility.

Reproductive endocrinologists may also help women with recurrent pregnancy loss – having two or more spontaneous miscarriages.

They explain that Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many stages.

– The woman’s body must release an egg from one of her ovaries external icon.

– A man’s sperm must fertilize with the egg along the way.

– The fertilized egg must go through a fallopian external icon toward the uterus external icon (womb).

– The embryo must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).

Infertility may result from a problem relating to any these stages. The CDC noted.

Success Stories

The Applied Research, Endoscopic Surgery and Human Reproduction Hospital Centre, abbreviated in French as CHRACERH in Yaounde has since its creation some ten years ago stood to gap through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and fertility treatments to fight the stigma associated with infertility.
Over three hundred women have been delivered of babies at the hospital centre and family are reminded of the affordability of the process which has so far produced promising results.

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One comment

  1. Lack of scientific thinking lead to irrational beliefs reinforced by dogmatic anti scientific religious stupidity. No inquisitive scientific approach to things.