Interview with Dr Kate Omonlei –
Onoja speaks on IVF and why she is offering IVF treatment at 50% discount.
Can you tell us a little about the fertility center?
Grabbo fertility center is a clinic located on number 2, 3rd avenue
Gwarimpa in Abuja
For how long have you been running this fertility clinic?
We’ve been doing fertility treatments for quite some time now for over
two years, even though this center came to be two years ago, I’ve been
into fertility treatments in various places where I’ve worked before
this center opened, and for over five years now, I have been into
gynecological practices and management of fertility.
What specific services do you offer here?
In Grabbo Fertility Clinic, we render wide range of services, we do
treatment of any form of fertility generally and other aspects of
gynecology, and any form of infertility which is both male and female
infertility, we do detailed investigations of infertility and its
causes and manage every form of infertility. We render services like
In Vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer which is our major
cause here. We also render other advanced fertility management like
intracytoplasmic sperm injection for men that have problems with their
semen like low sperm count or low motility or low morphology, we need
advanced form of Invitro fertilization to help select the best semen
for their wives so they can have their own biological children. We
also do other forms like embryo donation, like women we notice don’t
have eggs in their ovaries as a result of disease like endometriosis
or as a result of age because we discovered that some people do not have age on their side and they can’t produce eggs any longer, their
ovaries are exhausted, so what we do for such women is that we look
for donors that match their characteristics and we also get semen from
their husbands and use to treat the egg and transfer into them instead
of adoption, they get to carry these babies by themselves so they have
the bond right from the uterus and are able to have their own
children. For men, there are men who actually don’t have spermatozoa
at all, we call it complete exospermia, and we’ve check their testis
and they actually do not have. We also have services like sperm
banking where people can actually have the semen to use to treat their
wives so they can get pregnant and have kids. We also help with in Egg
preservation which is a very key aspect of fertility management
because some people by virtue of not being married or something, they
want to preserve their eggs so it doesn’t get wasted so
we do oocyte cryopreservation and for such we stimulate them and
harvest the eggs and help them to preserve it until such a time they
are ready to use the eggs. For some women their husbands are not in
town and yet they want to get treated, their husbands are abroad so
what we do is that we get their husbands to come down and produces the
semen and then we freeze it and use it for treatment anytime they are
ready. Those are just some of the services we render here at Grabbo
If I should take you back, you mentioned women who have reached
menopause or for some reason or another, are not able to menstruate
anymore, so that means that any woman at that stage can still carry a
Yes, a lot of people don’t know this but it’s very possible. Menopause
means a woman’s ovaries have stopped producing eggs but the uterus is
still there. All we need to work on the uterus and give them drugs to
help their endometrine which is the essential part of the uterus that
carries the baby, we give them drugs that will make the endometrine
grow and then get donors, young girls that have very viable follicles
in their ovaries, we stimulate them and get their eggs. Get their
husbands semen, fertilize the eggs and then we put into this women and
their able to get pregnant. The bond is there and the blood is here
and they deliver and have their children
Is there an Age limit to IVF?
With IVF there is no age limit except the person doesn’t have
interest. So for that we offer another service which is surrogacy, not
that some people don’t have uterus but from problems in the past,
their uterus is damaged from either dilation in the past and uterus is
damaged and they cannot carry babies any more. What we do for such
women is surrogacy, we get people who can help them carry their baby
they have the eggs and the eggs are viable and then we harvest the
eggs, we then get their husbands semen and get the eggs fertilized,
get a surrogate mother who will carry the baby for them.
Can you explain to us what IVF means?
IVF means Invitro fertilization, in full it is IVF and ET that is
Invitro fertilization and Embryo transfer. IVF is a form of assisted
reproductive technology that helps to overcome the problem of
infertility in couples. We notice that in our environment, the leading
cause of infertility is infections. Where most women’s have blocked
tubes and we need the sperm to swim from the vagina where it is
deposited to the uterus through the tube and the egg produced from the
ovaries swimming into the tube were fertilization will take place
before the embryo will swim into the uterus for further growth but by
virtue of infection or some other causes, this is not naturally
possible for some couples and IVF helps to overcome this, what it does
is it stimulates the women and we harvest the eggs and bring them out
and get their husbands semen, mix it together and give it some time
for fertilization to take place and growth , development will occur
and this growth and development goes on in special machines called
incubators. We put them in an incubator and give them time to develop
and in 3-5days, we bring them out and see the ones that really growing
and are actually viable, and by 5 days they would have produced the
blastocyst and this blastocyst is really the baby, that’s the embryo.
It’s now transferred into the woman’s uterus and in two weeks we
expect a positive pregnancy test.
What has been your success rate so far?
Success rate in Grabbo fertility clinic has been wonderful. Worldwide
success rate is about 40%, this because there are some batches you do
that could be 80% and some are not up to 80%. In Grabbo fertility
clinic it has been very wonderful because of the sophisticated
equipment we use here, we have recorded as high as 60% which even
beats the worldwide success rate. So our clients and customers are
We know you’re giving out a promo right now, we would like to know
what informed that decision?
Overtime in the management of infertility in Nigeria, we discover that
infertility is there among our people, It has eaten deep into our
people and so many marriages have crashed because of infertility. We
noticed that this problem is not because the people don’t want to use
the IVF for management of their infertility, we discover that their
major problem has always been cost, because the drugs, media,
consumables, IVF settings in the lab and bringing in these equipment
is very expensive and we noticed that so many Nigerians are not able
to use this facilities. We need to help the people out there that have
these problems and don’t have money to run the cycle. For example each
cycle costs N1-1.500, 000. That’s how much a couple will spend to treat
infertility so in order to help the masses, we have to find a way to
bring down the cost and we had to collaborate with companies that
produce the consumable which is the drugs and they offered to give
materials to us at a ridiculously low price that would help us to help
us to bring down the price of IVF and make it accessible to couples
that need it.
When does the promo start?
The Promo starts on the 1st of June and is supposed to last for 3
months and by the 31st of August we expect the promo to have expired.
This is because the materials they are sending are limited. Within
this period of time we expect women to come use up these materials and
take advantage of the promo. Currently we are giving it at 500,000
naira. This is something that ordinarily costs N1-1.500, 000. But we
are giving it at 500,000 which we think will help our women overcome
What’s the response so far?
It has been wild, we weren’t expecting this much. That also helps to
confirm that the reason people haven’t been using it is because of
funds. So many people have been calling and sending in money, people
we haven’t even met, because they know the space is limited. We expect
people that are hearing this now to quickly come use it because after
the promo it will go back to its original price.
So what is the process of IVF?
The process of IVF practically for every woman should take up to 4-5
weeks because the woman has to come and we run some tests and all. The
good thing about this promo is that both the drugs and the lab test
the woman is doing are included. All you need to do is make the
N500,000 payment and your treatment is done. If the woman comes for a
visit, we access the woman which is called the initial assessment,
within the time that the treatment will start. The treatment is a long
protocol and usually we start on day 21 of the woman’s cycle and we
down regulate for about 2-3 weeks depending on the woman’s response to
the drugs given after which we add another drug to stimulate for
another 10-14 days then thereafter we do our harvest, wait for
fertilization and we transfer after 5 days and the rest is history.
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