Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Boy, Girl Child Controversy By ABC Nworah

In ancient days, marriage was focused principally towards producing a male child who was celebrated like a deity. Female children could come in later. Each family needed men for hunting and farming, and the states needed men for the military and paramilitary services.
 Apart from rare historical cases like the Queen of Sheba which was incidental, if not indeed accidental, sovereignties had always remained a special preserve of men, often leading to bigamies in polygamies.
It was so fierce that King Henry the V111 of England broke out from the Vatican in 1514 when the Pope refused to grant him the divorce of Catherine of Aragon who had only female children for him. In fact, here was the birth of the Anglican Communion.
 In India and Pakistan, women pay dowries for their marriages, not the other way round as with most African and non-African state, and stories of suicides are common where the now female suitor could not raise the dowry for her male spouse, and stories abound where female unborn children are mechanically aborted or lynched to death immediately after birth.
Here one can understand why families feel stampeded into adoring male offspring more than females. In Igboland the story is only slightly different, only that we are more able to absorb the ‘trauma’, call it so, and not that we do not long for male child, our women in particular for seemingly obvious reason of eventual husband infidelity or even family break-up.
Besides, in certain customs and traditions females have no right to family inheritance unless mentioned in a will, or earlier pronounced by the departing father, which is a pity?
On the other hand, every Yoruba family prays for their first child to be a female, as they believe first female children bring immeasurable luck to the family.
It is true that in civilized worlds, it does not matter whether it is male or female but sometimes one comes across isolated cases and I would like to mention the case of a lad who delivered under my care in Britain and ended up in a psychiatric home, not only because it was a female but also that she contracted the pregnancy illegitimately from an Austrian, as they believe that Austrians always have male children, female children being only a rarity.
One is actually not very sure whether this is really naturally so or that undercurrent abortions were the case, as Austrians were one-time invaders whose main source of living then was mining, farming and hunting. In China today, one is allowed only one child, male or female, so that the abortion doctor always smiles to the banks when the fetus has been diagnosed by scanning to be a female.
However, the orientation is gradually changing for commonsense when everyone remembers that he or she came to this world alone and will go back alone, leaving all the males and females behind, and only going home leaving a name behind, positive or negative.
But for those who are desperate about any particular sex of the child, male or female, there are clean, sinless, unobtrusive methods of reaching at it. The first is by the popularly known Billings method, the second is by Sethis method, the third by Ogbogus’, and recently there was a lady teacher, Mrs. Okoro at Nsukka who stormed the Daily Sun of July 2012, with positional methods of selecting the baby’s sex, a claim which raised eyebrows as it has no scientific explanation, not even by her.
However, the principle of determining the sex of the child at pregnancy hovers all around the ovulation date. If the conjugal relationship takes place far away from the ovulation date the chances are greater for a female child. When it takes place very close to the ovulation date, on the ovulation date proper, or just shortly after it, the chances tilt towards a male child.
The fact is that early phase of the fertile period, the virginal milieu is acidic which favours the faster movement of the female-producing sperm cells, whilst around the ovulation time the milieu is alkaline which favours the faster movement of male sperm.
It is on this that Seth, an Indian doctor, developed a method of alkanising the environment for a male child which many of us now also use applying the right titer of the alkaline solution. Your doctor would guide you on this.
It therefore follows that the possible ovulation date has to be decisively determined. This however, can sometimes be emotionally influenced negatively or altered by infections or even certain drugs and herbal concoctions as it is often the case with women.
With the new developments in ovulation tests, the doctor and the patient can jointly safely arrive at the ovulation date, but it must be remembered that the ovum, i.e. the eggs, lasts at most a day, usually 18 hours before it dies off, whilst a male sperm has a life span of three to five days. This means that something has to be done before the ovum dies off.
Another deciding factor is the quality of the male sperm, which includes motility, progression, viability, structural normality, and absence of infections as deficiencies in these units can lead to non-conception or to abnormal fetal development and miscarriages.
It therefore follows that the doctor must first establish the fertility status of the couple so that the doctor does not waste his time hitting the brick wall. If however, there are faults they must be jointly corrected both sides, unless otherwise requested, as one strangely notices where the man requests that his wife be treated first, sometimes out of financial reasons or for some insidious reason beyond the scope of this write-up.
All said and done, it is no more a secret that one can nowadays predetermine the sex of her child to a very high degree of success, following medical guidance as strictly as possible.
More accurate methods like the electronic separation of male sperm cells from female sperm cells, and using whichever one needs. Other reproductive factors being equal, the separated spermatozoa can then be injected into the woman’s womb and it naturally finds its way into the following tubes where usually one of them fertilizes the descending ovum. This is called insemination.
Alternatively, where the tubal passage has been blocked thus making the natural union of the egg and sperm, impossible one can resort o “in vitro fertilization”, popularly called ‘Test tube babies’. This is already known to the populace.
The only snag about these two methods is the prohibitive cost, but where one cannot afford it, usually in sophisticated hospitals at home and abroad, it would surely help.

                                                                    Prof. Anthony B.C Nworah



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