The Fibroid Care Centre of Nordica, a fertility treatment centre in Nigeria has conducted over 100 successful non-invasive treatment for fibroids and adenomyosis using the High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) intervention technology.
The Nordica Fibroid Care Centre, located in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos is the first Fibroid Care Centre with HIFU in West Africa, and the third in Africa after Egypt and South Africa. The first procedure was conducted in Nigeria on the 9th of July, 2021 at the Centre.
As at last count late April, the centre has conducted the 100th of treatment of the two conditions have been linked to infertility in women with more lined up. This means as at the time of reading this, the clinic may have added more to its record.
Although most fibroids do not affect a woman’s fertility, they have been incidental discoveries during ultrasound scans carried out on women. The concern, however, is whether the fibroid is distorting the lining of the uterus.
Meanwhile, recent studies have concluded that adenomyosis, on its part reduces implantation and number of embryos transferred as well as the clinical pregnancy rate, and ongoing pregnancy rate in women undergoing IVF. It has also been found that the first trimester miscarriage rate was also higher in women with adenomyosis
Because the symptoms are so similar, adenomyosis is often misdiagnosed as uterine fibroids.
HIFU, which is also used in prostate cancer treatment, uses the energy of highly focused ultrasound to pinpoint, heat and kill off the cells in the affected part. Unlike radiation and surgery, HIFU is non-invasive outpatient procedure that leaves healthy tissue unharmed
The Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nordica, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, disclosed that the facility opened its doors in July 2021, and has recorded not less than 100 successful Fibroids and adenomyosis treatments.
The technology was first introduced in 2002, at the University of Oxford, UK. Since then, the technology has been introduced in over 28 countries and regions worldwide, successfully treating over 150,000 cases of benign and malignant tumours.
“Fibroids and adenomyosis are gynaecological conditions with symptoms like pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and prolonged periods etc, making life unbearable for women living with these conditions. We are delighted every time a woman walks into our facility with fibroids and or adenomyosis and she leaves a few hours later devoid of the torment of her ailment,” Dr. Ajayi stated in a newspaper interview.
“While many women with fibroids do not face fertility issues and have successful pregnancies, certain fibroids are often found in women who do face fertility issues,” Dr. Ajayi said.
According to him, the location of fibroid usually determines its impact on fertility. In particular, submucosal fibroids, a form of uterine fibroids where the fibroids are in the space where the pregnancy stays, are known to negatively affect fertility.
Fibroids are found in 40 -50 per cent of women of reproductive age but are more common in Africans. The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unclear, but evidence abound that it may be caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors.
Approximately 5–10 per cent of infertile women have fibroids. Their size and location determine whether the fibroids affect fertility. Fibroids that are inside the uterine cavity (submucosal) or very large ( over 6 cm in diameter) within the wall of the uterus (intramural) may affect fertility.
Whereas most women with fibroids will not be infertile, experts advise that they and their partners should be thoroughly evaluated to find other problems with fertility before fibroids are treated.