INFERTILIY among men is as high as 30% according to a recent medical report which indicates that men are producing far less sperm than before as a result of changing lifestyles and eating habits.
According to the report, many homes are faced with the agony of childlessness and infertility is fast becoming a plague. Particularly in African societies, the desire of every couple is to become parents within the first or second year of marriage and while many couples have this dream fulfilled, quite a number of others do not, no matter how hard they try.
When pregnancy is not achieved at a point, mistrust sets in and most of the time, the woman bears the bulk of the blame. Such was the case of Obigaeri and her childhood friend, Emeka, who later became her husband.
They were close enough friends right from childhood that what started like child’s play blossomed into real life marriage. Six years into the marriage, there was no sign of pregnancy not even a miscarriage and tongues started wagging.
Emeka said: “The moment I noticed my mother in-law’s frequent visits, I became suspicious.”
Obiagaeri became a laughing stock before her husband’s family and no one saw any good in her anymore. Month after month, she continued to wallow in self pity, hoping for a miracle.
One day she ran into an old school mate and they got talking. She narrated her story and her school mate counselled and encouraged her to insist that her husband also go for a medical check up but like the typical Nigerian woman, Obiageri was afraid to confront her husband.
While praying to God to open her womb, Obiageri had been to two in-vitro fertility (IVF) centres where she was given a clean bill of health. Six months later, when she could no longer bear the harassments by family members, she finally opened up.
She told her husband that it was time for him to also check himself but the response she received from Emeka shocked her. He asked her why he should be involved in that in a reaction typical of African men but this did not deter Obigaeri who mounted pressure until he gave in after several months.
Emeka finally agreed to go for screening where it was discovered he was azoospermic, that is, had zero sperm count. Reports have shown that about 30% of men suffer infertility but unfortunately, in African societies, women are presumed to suffer infertility and not men.