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What is Sickle Cell Anaemia and How Can PGD Help?

What is Sickle Cell Anaemia and How Can PGD Help?

Healthy red blood cells are responsible for distributing enough oxygen throughout the body. If you have sickle cell anaemia, a type of anaemia that is inherited (i.e. a genetic disorder), you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells. In medical terms, abnormal haemoglobin S (Hb S) instead of haemoglobin A (Hb A) is present in the red blood cells. Regular, healthy red blood cells are round and flexible, making movement through blood vessels easy. In patients who have sickle cell anaemia, not only are the red blood cells shaped like sickles, but they turn rigid and sticky causing them to get stuck in small blood vessels. This can slow or even block blood flow and therefore delay oxygen distribution to certain parts of the body. Sickle Cell Anaemia in Nigeria According to research, Nigeria has the largest population of people with sickle cell anaemia (or sickle cell disease aka SCD) in the world. Every year, more than 150 000 babies are born with this serious condition. Also alarming is the estimatio ...

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The Importance of Healthcare Quality Audits in Nigeria

The Importance of Healthcare Quality Audits in Nigeria

Reliable, high quality care is very important when it comes to patients’ health and safety. Why? Because people trust medical experts with their concerns, conditions and future wellbeing. If the right programmes and regulations are not in place, quality cannot be controlled, putting many lives at risk. This is not acceptable. Take fertility treatments for example. Patients seeking help with fertility challenges are already concerned, anxious and bound to spend money towards growing their future family. They need to know that they are in the best hands possible, every step of the way. Unfortunately, it’s not that difficult to open a fertility clinic in Nigeria as the regulations aren’t as strict as in other medicine fields in the country. So, if a couple trusts the wrong clinic (without the right equipment and proper training) they could get the wrong diagnosis and treatment plan, resulting in further heartache or worse: increased fertility or other medical problems. We wanted to make sur ...

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What You Need to Know About Endometriosis in Nigeria

What You Need to Know About Endometriosis in Nigeria

Endometriosis is a medical condition that affects women and more often than not it is very painful, with very troubling consequences. In earlier days there were little to no awareness and comprehension in Nigeria for this condition with speculated causes ranging from differences in educational standards and ethnic habits to the availability and quality of diagnostic resources. To provide information and support women with endometriosis a worldwide Awareness Week has been established. This year’s dates are 3 – 9 March 2017. What is Endometriosis? Women are diagnosed with endometriosis when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus actually grows outside the uterus. When this happens, the ovaries (and possibly the fallopian tubes and tissue lining of the pelvis) are affected. In severe cases, although rare, endometrial tissue can even spread beyond pelvic organs. The condition normally presents in women in their late 20s to early 30s. It has been alleged that 30 – 40% of Ni ...

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What are Hereditary Conditions and Why Can PGD Help?

What are Hereditary Conditions and Why Can PGD Help?

Hereditary conditions are diseases or disorders that are inherited genetically, in other words, defective genes that are passed on from a parent (or parents) to a child through conception. Two examples of hereditary diseases that you might have heard of include muscular dystrophy and Down syndrome. Here are a few examples of hereditary conditions with brief descriptions: Galactosemia : Complications of this metabolic disorder include liver damage, speech difficulty and intellectual disability. Sickle cell anaemia : This serious genetic disorder causes severe pain known as pain crises. Over time it also results in multiple organ damage. Cystic fibrosis : A defective gene causes a thick build-up of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. Sufferers are prone to malnutrition and lung infections and need to work closely with healthcare professionals to steer clear of germs as much as possible. Glycogen storage disease : Genetically defective enzymes cannot successfully perform the tasks of contro ...

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Three-parent IVF: The Facts, The Benefits, The Concerns

Three-parent IVF: The Facts, The Benefits, The Concerns

Three-parent IVF – officially known as Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT) – continues to raise concern in some circles while gaining traction in others. MRT, through pronuclear transfer technique (more common in UK) or maternal spindle transfer, was pioneered to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial disease, a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, from one generation to the next The Cause of Mitochondrial Diseases Mitochondrial diseases result from mitochondria failures. Either inherited mutations or spontaneous mutations in mtDNA or nDNA, which alter the functions of the proteins or RNA molecules present, can cause mitochondrial diseases. What Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Entails Essentially, defective ovum mitochondria is replaced with healthy mitochondria from a donor to help prevent passing a mitochondrial disease to a child, consequently resulting in three-parent babies. Who has Used this Technique? Although this innovative fertility tech ...

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Boy or Girl: Who Determines the Sex of a Baby?

Boy or Girl: Who Determines the Sex of a Baby?

Once a couple finds out they are pregnant, it is only natural for them to be curious if they will have a boy or a girl. This blog post will explain the biological process that determines the sex of the baby. Basic Introduction on Sex Determination Humans have one pair of sex chromosomes. Women have two “X” chromosomes, while men have an “X” and a “Y”. The presence or absence of the “Y” chromosome is what determines the sex of a baby. Since women only have “X” chromosomes, all their eggs only have “X” chromosomes. However, because men have both an “X” and a “Y”, each of their sperm will carry one or the other. That means that the chromosome in the sperm that fertilises the eggs will determine the baby’s sex. So, ultimately the father determines the sex of the baby, even though he cannot control whether an “X” or “Y” reaches the egg first (unless a baby is conceived through IVF). G ...

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Are You a Cyberchondriac? Find Out Why it’s Risky to Self-Diagnose

Are You a Cyberchondriac? Find Out Why it’s Risky to Self-Diagnose

In this new era of the “Connected Patient”, it is easy to understand why a growing number of individuals rely on the internet for medical advice. The option is incredibly convenient and more importantly, free. However, there are a number of compelling reasons why it can be dangerous to use the internet to self self-diagnose troubling symptoms. Harvard Medical School Study In a 2015 study published in the British Medical Journey, led by Harvard Medical School researchers, most sites reviewed were deemed unreliable as sources of diagnosis and triage i.e. the assignment of degrees of urgency to illnesses to determine the order of treatment. In a nutshell: 23 websites (worldwide) were selected to test 45 patient vignettes (brief descriptions of conditions, half of which were common conditions). The results? The correct diagnosis only surfaced 34% of the time. Self-Diagnosis: Main Risks The main risks and issues related to inaccurate and inconsistent information are as follows: Many people ...

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How to Emotionally Prepare for Negative IVF Results

How to Emotionally Prepare for Negative IVF Results

Trying to conceive a child naturally is an exciting, special prospect for most couples. Unfortunately, an increasing number of couples find themselves trying for months without succeeding. The next logical and often stressful step is to consult a fertility specialist and arrange assessments. Once and if the challenge is identified, a treatment – for example IVF – can be recommended. But what if the treatment fails? Apart from the associated costs, missing work, all the invasive physical procedures and timing intercourse, you also have to prepare yourself emotionally for negative IVF results. The stress and potential disappointment can be overwhelming, so knowing what to expect will help you deal with the procedures and outcomes. Here are a few things you need to know and emotionally prepare for: There is nothing to be ashamed of. Let go of the things you cannot control. Communicate your feelings with your partner. You will likely be on an emotional rollercoaster. Ther ...

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Get Peace of Mind with Private Fertility Tests

Get Peace of Mind with Private Fertility Tests

  Planning a family is an exciting journey many couples look forward to, but struggling to fall pregnant is not part of that dream. In fact, it can be very stressful and emotional to face the possibility of infertility and discussing the situation is never easy. There is a solution. Instead of constantly worrying (or blaming yourself when it’s never anyone’s fault), be proactive and get answers. You can go for fertility assessments – with or without your partner. This private option allows you to get to know your fertility status and understand where challenges may come from. With the new information you receive, it’s easier to plan the next step. FertilitySure & How it Works Bridge Clinic offers a series of assessments which help us accurately diagnose and therefore understand the reasons for infertility challenges. Once we have the results, we can recommend a treatment plan and schedule that’s individually suited to you. There are three fertility assessments, but ...

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How to Know When You’re Ovulating: 5 Signs

How to Know When You’re Ovulating: 5 Signs

When trying to conceive, it’s important to know what ovulation is and when it occurs. This blog post will discuss the five top signs of how to know when you’re ovulating. Remember, every woman is different, so by understanding your cycle and your ovulation symptoms you can increase the chances of falling pregnant by choosing optimal times for intercourse. What is Ovulation? It is useful to understand what ovulation is and when it happens. You might already know that ovulation is the phase in your menstrual cycle when the ovary releases a mature egg that travels down the fallopian tube for fertilisation. Women are born with millions of immature eggs, all waiting to be released, usually one per month, a few weeks after menstruation starts. When Do Women Ovulate? It is generally estimated that ovulation occurs on day 15 of a woman’s menstrual cycle, however everyone is different. Women of childbearing age have a menstrual cycle that lasts between 28 – 32 days. Between day 10 and 19 ...

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