Nigeria has recorded the first successful birth of a baby conceived from frozen egg of a 44 year-old woman, who had suffered infertility for eight years, making it the first in the country and West Africa. The birth and conception of the baby, named Tiwatope, which is the 5001st in the world, was carried out by Nigerian fertility specialists at The Bridge Clinic, a Lagos-based fertility treatment centre, where the mother had her eggs frozen using the vitrification (flash-freezing) process. The birth of the baby on February 16, 2016, effectively puts Nigeria on the global map as regards the practice of oocyte (egg) freezing or cryopreservation, a new offering in the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process. Prior to the birth of Tiwatope, the new practice seemed to be the exclusive preserve of the developed world of Europe and North America.

1st Test Tube Baby in Black Africa is now 29 years old
On March 17, 1989 history was made at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital when the first test tube Baby in Black Africa (comprising of West, East and Central Africa), conceived through the delicate In-Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET) method was born. The bouncing baby boy named, Olushina, Eghosa, Oluwaremilekun, is nature’s gift to the family of Mr & Mrs Pius Oni and the crowning glory of five years of painstaking research endeavours of Professors Osato Giwa-Osagie, an Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Oladapo Ashiru, an Endocrinologist, both of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH Idiaraba, Surulere, Lagos.The lad then, thus, became the First TestTube Baby in East, West and Central Africa. Read more at:

Celebrating Milestones

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Couples who undergo IVF treatment usually have very high expectations. There is a subconscious reluctance to admit that they might very well be among the unsuccessfully treated patients although it is still clear that failure is more likely than success.

IVF is an expensive and stressful experience which increases our expectations of the process. Expectations of success are considerably higher than the success rates quoted at their initial consultation.

The endpoint of IVF treatment, which is the transfer of two or sometimes three embryos into the uterus, is not the same as a pregnancy. There is a waiting period of about two weeks after the embryo transfer before it can be determined whether the woman has achieved pregnancy. This further increases the frustration of the process.

A success rate of 25-30% means that the failure rate is 75-85%. No one likes to think about failure when embarking on a new venture. There are very few medical programmes where emotions are so highly charged and where the failure rate consistently exceeds the success rate.

Treatment can fail at any stage: ovarian stimulation, egg collection, fertilization, cleavage and implantation. All that IVF demands of the person – financial, emotional, fear coupled with courage and determination potentates failure.

Any woman who decides to make the financial outlay for IVF and subject herself to the inconvenience of injecting herself everyday for up to three or four weeks expects to get pregnant from the process and the disappointment of failure becomes much more acute.

Two of the most traumatic points of failure are failure in fertilization and the return of the menses, which results from a failure in implantation. There is a feeling of isolation, confusion and helplessness and you ask, “what went wrong?”

Sometimes, one never really knows why it has failed despite the ‘good’ prognosis (relatively young age, normal uterus, high quality embryos transferred) but it is helpful to discuss with the doctor and embryologist who saw the embryos and can give an assessment. The unexplained situation is always the most difficult to bear. Failure is often easier to bear when we can pinpoint a reason for that failure.

A review of the treatment cycle by looking at the ways in which a couple responded to the drug stimulation: number of eggs collected, semen issues, fertilization and the grading of the embryos, etc., may give some clues as to how to adjust a repeat treatment.

After experiencing a failure, there is often considerable merit in delaying the decision to undergo a repeat cycle treatment.

If you have had more than one failed IVF, consider changing clinics, especially if your doctor doesn’t have a change in protocol planned.
Remember that all cycles are not alike. Using the exact same protocol on another attempt even at the same clinic can lead to different results. (Rachel Browne)

‘The Bridge Clinic’s ‘Fertility Update’ September 2005 Vol No 3
‘Birthright,’ August 2005

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