Helen, 31, and Bernard, 40, welcomed a set of quadruplets – three girls and a boy – in Lagos using Artificial Insemination, a form of Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART). The couple had been diagnosed as infertile at the Medical ART Centre, Lagos when a series of tests found lack of ovulation and polycystic ovarian disorder in the wi
fe and male factor infertility in the husband. Helen and Bernard have said that the journey to welcoming their babies began in August 2013 when they visited the infertility clinic and got diagnosed as borderline infertile.
They received their first Artificial Insemination procedure in October and it turned out to be an abounding success. Bernard said he and his wife commenced treatment immediately after the diagnosis to address their indicated fertility challenges.
My wife was about 30 years of age at that time, and I was 39. We had been desperately looking for help to achieve pregnancy and successful childbirth after four years of marriage with no babies.
The couple recounted to the Vanguard’shealth column that in October 2013, they were put through a two-level procedure called the fallopian tube sperm perfusion (artificial insemination).
It involves washing and processing of the sperm before injection into the fallopian tube. The initial perfusion was done by Dr. Chisara Okeke, and the second was done by Dr Jaiyeola Adeyemi both IVF physicians at the Center.
Helen went home but returned to the Center two weeks later and was confirmed positive by the Beta HCG (bHCG)
pregnancy test. She said it was to her delight and amazement, two weeks after the perfusion, that result of the pregnancy test came out positive.
It was the happiest moment of my life to discover I was pregnant. Five days later, the following week, a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Fertility/IVF Specialist, Dr.Kemi Ailoje Ibru, performed series of ultrasound scans and found that there were four gestational sacs, meaning I was carrying four babies.
Helen recalled that the doctor was doing the scans one at a time and each time an additional sac was found, it meant another baby.
It got to a stage, my husband and I requested that the scans should be discontinued just in case more babies were to be discovered. By the 10th week, I was transferred to to the MART Medicare for antenatal care.
Speaking on the medical feat, the Group Medical Director/CEO, Medical ART Center, Professor Oladapo Ashiru said the initial scan post positive test was done to determine the position of the implantation.
One week later another scan was done to confirm gestation, which showed twin gestation.The 7th week scan showed triplet gestation and by eight weeks, the quadruplet gestation was confirmed. She was managed at MART Medical Art Center high risk/multiple pregnancy care unit, and was transferred to MART Medicare from the 10th week for continued routine monitoring
Ashiru, an experienced endocrinologist and joint pioneer of IVF in Nigeria and West Africa, explained that at the MART Medicare, Helen’s case was taken over by three consultant obstetrician/gynaecologists led by Dr. Lateef Akinola, Dr. Moses Olusanjo, and Dr. Seun Makewu. The trio carefully monitored her antenatal care till the 16th
week when a cervical cerclage was inserted under spinal anestethestic to ensure that her cervix was intact.
By the 20th week, the patient was brought in to admission at the maternity ward of MART Medicare so that she could rest and prevent early miscarriage. She was readmitted at 20 weeks for close monitoring and plan
of delivery. At 33 weeks, she had elective Caesarean Section by a team of specialists led by Drs. Akinola and Olusanjo and a team which included two anesthetics, two obstetricians, four neonatologists and theatre nurses. The
quadruplets were delivered in about three minutes beginning at 9am. First to come was a female, 1.35 kg followed by the boy, 1.25kg, then a female 1.2 kg and another female 0.90 kg,
The mother was awake all through the procedure – the anesthetic was spinal – and she could hear her babies crying as the medical team delivered the babies one after the other. All babies are alive and well.