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A Professor of Anatomy and Consultant Reproductive Endocrinologist, Oladapo Ashiru, says the uterine ultrasound of Nigerian women shows more abnormalities than are generally found in White females.

Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Ashiru said a number of studies have also confirmed the observation.

“The uterine ultrasound of Nigerian women who present at the clinic for infertility treatment shows more abnormalities than their White counterparts.

“It has been our observation over the years and a number of studies have also confirmed this observation,” Ashiru said.

He noted that a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in December 2018 concluded that the rate [of abnormalities] are “disproportionately high” and occur at younger ages for Black women, and possibly for other non-white racial or ethnic groups.

Ashiru, who gave West Africa its first in vitro fertilisation baby, said the abnormalities were due to several issues, “ranging from dietary to infection and surgery by quacks and maybe the Black gene.”

Stating likely causes for the phenomenon, Ashiru said, “In Nigeria, for instance, many women take supplements that contain vitamins and honey bees; and when you look at the dosage, it is sometimes 5,000 times the recommended daily allowance and the excess may end up accumulating in the uterus.”

Ashiru, who is also the Chief Medical Director, Medical Art Centre, said African women can enhance the quality of their wombs by avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, alongside imbibing sound dietary habits.

Continuing, he said, “It is suggested that too much estrogenic food or medication may cause fibroid. Hence, read the labels of medications.”

Estrogenic foods include soybeans and edamame, dried fruit, garlic, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, among others.

When asked why, despite the abnormalities, African women still have more children than western/European women, Ashiru said a great number of women would still have babies despite the presence of fibroid, warning, however, that other abnormalities such as adhesion or overscrapping of the uterine lining during D&S [dilation and curettage] may cause difficulty in conception.

“If the fibroid is small in size under 5cm and it is outside the uterine cavity, pregnancy can be spared. If it is in the cavity, pregnancy would be difficult,” he said.

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