“A proper and solid erection does not define a man’s ability to impregnate a woman; He may just be shooting blanks,” a fertility expert has said.
According to Dr. Edem K. Haidzi, President of the Fertility Society of Ghana, more often than not, women are being blamed for the inability of a couple to have children of their own when the man may be actually sterile.
He said, “Because they have a good erection, they feel or believe the woman is the cause of the infertility.”
Dr. Haidzi was speaking at Media Training organised by the Merck Foundation in collaboration with the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) and the Rebecca Foundation.
The doctor revealed that several factors could lead to sterility in men.
According to him, about 80% of infertility cases in the developed world are caused by hormonal imbalances while in developing countries, infertility in men could be associated with some unhealthy lifestyles.
In Ghana for instance, infertility amongst men have been associated to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
Diseases like Mumps according to the health expert may also affect the testis of a man leading to infertility.
“Previous hernia repair may damage the vas deferens—a long, muscular tube that transports matured sperm to the urethra of the woman,” the doctor said.
Other factors he said, include excessive intake of alcohol and hard drugs; subjecting the scrotum to high temperature from motorcycles and even a hot tub bath.
Dr. Haidzi therefore advised that both husband and wife must seek medical assistance when the issue of infertility is mentioned in marriage.
The training focused on the role of the media in breaking the stigma around infertility and women in Africa.
The goal of the training was to help the media to better report on health, particularly, infertility and the underlying factors.
Participants were equipped with knowledge on how to create a cultural shift which frowns upon the discrimination, stigmatisation and ostracisation of women who are unable to bear children.
Ekta Pal, the Social Responsibility Associate at the Merck Foundation, said they were determined to raise public awareness of disease prevention and early detection, through access to information, health and change of mind-set.
The Merck Foundation also focuses on activities that will contribute towards the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as outlined by the United Nations.
By Grace Ablewor Sogbey