Lily Fertility Centre is one of Nigeria’s leading fertility clinics. Our success rates for infertility over the past seven years are among the highest in the country. Overall, our team of fertility specialist, doctors, nurses and support staff enable us to offer our patients the most effective new procedures and technologies available in infertility treatment today.
This brochure introduces you to our Clinic and allows you to gain an idea of the assisted conception techniques on offer here. We hope it will help you gain an understanding of what we can do for you and enable you to be better informed on some of the complex issues that face any couple starting fertility treatment before you decide what you want to do.
One in six couples find it hard to get pregnant in spite of regular unprotected intercourse whilst trying for over a year. We are here to help and guide you to what we all hope will be a successful outcome.
We are a team of medical, nursing and scientific experts dedicated to giving a comprehensive and caring fertility service. The treatment services we offer are of the highest standards and our results compare favourably with the national figures
Assisted conception is a term used to describe the methods available to help couples to become pregnant when they are having difficulty conceiving. It is also often called fertility treatment.
Each month, an egg develops in one of the ovaries in a small sac of fluid called a follicle. The egg is released from the ovary and passes down one of the fallopian tubes, which are attached to the uterus (womb).
For a pregnancy to occur, sperm, which has been deposited in the vagina during intercourse, has to swim towards the egg in the fallopian tube. This is where fertilisation normally occurs.
The fertilised egg (embryo) begins to develop as it travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus. After about five days, the embryo hatches out of its outer coating and buries itself (implants) in the thick lining of the uterus where it begins to grow.
Rarely, an embryo implants in the fallopian tube. This is called an ectopic pregnancy.
One in six couples take longer than one year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse to become pregnant. Assisted conception might be needed if:
There are treatments available for all of these circumstances and we will talk to you about a suitable option for you.
This involves the use of tablets or injections to stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs. This is monitored carefully by ultrasound during the treatment cycle to pinpoint ovulation and allows the correct timing of sexual intercourse or intrauterine insemination.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a form of assisted reproduction where the eggs from the woman are extracted under anaesthetic and placed in a culture dish with thousands of sperm, allowing the process of fertilisation to take place outside the body. The resulting embryos are grown in the laboratory over 2 – 5 days before being transferred back into the woman’s uterus increasing the chance that a pregnancy will occur. Fertilised embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus in a simple procedure call an embryo transfer (a very similar technique to a pap smear).
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) differs from conventional in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in that the embryologist selects a single sperm to be injected directly into an egg, instead of fertilisation taking place in a dish where many sperm are placed near an egg. ICSI enables fertilisation to happen when there are very few sperm available.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves a laboratory procedure to separate fast moving sperm from more sluggish or non-moving sperm. The fast moving sperm are then placed into the woman’s womb close to the time of ovulation when the egg is released from the ovary in the middle of the monthly cycle. Your partner will need to produce a sperm sample on the day you are ovulating (which can be pinpointed through ultrasound scans and urine tests). The sperm is assessed and prepared in a special solution, and is then passed through the cervix (neck of womb) and placed into the uterus (womb), using a fine soft catheter. This treatment is useful for: ovulation problems, mild endometriosis and some cases of ‘unexplained’ infertility.
In some situations couples may only require limited intervention. This can be achieved by accurately determining the time of ovulation for the female. Hormone levels are measured commencing on Day 2 then and Day 8 or 9 of the cycle until the day of anticipated ovulation is pinpointed. The blood results in addition to an ultrasound scan to track the growth of the follicles will establish the optimum time of ovulation. Intercourse should occur as close as possible to ovulation.
A sperm bank is a specialized laboratory for the collection and storage of sperm. Sperm banks can provide two
different types of service: A facility where a man can bank his sperm for future use or a facility where a couple can purchase donor sperm.
Sperm banking is used in a variety of different situations. Most commonly, men bank sperm because they are
about to undergo treatments or take medications which may affect their sperm production.
Any excess healthy embryos from the IVF process can be frozen, in case more than one treatment cycle is needed. Freezing embryos, also known as cryopreservation, takes place for 60% of all patients having IVF treatment. Embryos can be frozen from Day 2 (Four cell stage) to Day 5 (Blastocyst). They are placed in thin plastic straws, sealed at both ends, and labelled with your name and identification number.
They then go into a freezing machine, where the temperature rapidly drops to -150° Celsius. The straws are then placed in goblets, and put into tanks filled with liquid nitrogen, which keeps the temperature at -196° Celsius. If you or your partner is undergoing fertility treatment for a serious illness or cancer you might consider freezing embryos for future pregnancy attempts.
For some people, using donated eggs, sperm or embryos gives them their only chance to have a baby. Lily Hospitals provides a comprehensive and supportive donor program to assist couples to start their family. We have a dedicated and experienced donor team, providing guidance and support for donors and recipients throughout the process.
Some women are unable to produce their own eggs, for example their ovaries have not developed properly as a result of a gentic disorder or there has been ovarian failure caused by premature menopause, surgery or cancer treatments. Others may not wish to use their own eggs for medical reasons.
An egg donor should be, ideally, between 21 and 35 years of age. She must be fit and healthy, and ideally should have completed her family. Donating eggs is a voluntary process and no payment is made to the egg donor.
To donate eggs the woman has to go through the process of ovarian stimulation for IVF and have an egg collection performed.
A surrogate carries the gift of life for another couple or individual. For some people, carrying their own baby through pregnancy is impossible and a surrogate offers their only hope of having a child.
Surrogacy is a highly complex process, and there are many important steps to ensure that both parties make the best decisions - including extensive counselling, psychiatric assessment and independent legal advice.
In surrogacy, an embryo is created using an egg and sperm produced by the intending parent(s) (or donors), and is transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate has no genetic link to the child. Her eggs cannot be used to conceive the child.
When you embark on assisted reproductive treatment (ART) you may experience many different emotions; from joy and excitement to grief and disappointment. This can be an emotionally and physically challenging time, so at Lily Hospitals we offer confidential fertility counselling and support. Our experienced counsellors are available at each clinic before, during and after your fertility treatment, whenever you feel you need further support or strategies to manage your treatment more confidently.
For the majority of treatments, you can access our counselling services free of charge at any time during your treatment or following a cycle. We are experienced in helping individuals and couples deal with difficult circumstances and emotions, and encourage you to take positive steps through counselling so you can feel more in control of your treatment, emotions, physical health and relationships.
You may be asked to have all or some of the following investigations:
All male partners attending the centre for infertility investigations will be required to provide a semen sample for assessment. This will need to happen before any treatment plan can be arranged by appointment only. The semen sample has to be produced by masturbation after two or three days of abstinence from ejaculation. It should not ideally be before or after this time frame. If you feel that producing a sample may be problem, please call the centre to discuss further.
Fertility treatment requires screening for patients and their partners for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C and Syphillis. We know that being tested for HIV and Hepatitis is stressful. We will support you during this process and you will also be offered the opportunity to have independent, confidential counselling at any stage.
Some women will receive surgery to treat fibroids, endometriosis or abnormalities inside the womb, before assisted conception treatment begins. This is also sometimes required for women who have blocked tubes.
Before starting any treatment it is usual for you to have an appointment with a fertility nurse who will explain the treatment process.