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Ajoke Fadairo Akindele: Supporting Women Through Infertility Using WhatsApp.

Question: You created the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Trying To Conceive (TTC) WhatsApp group in 2020, what inspired this and what do you aim to achieve?

I created the ‘Polycystic Ovary Syndrome’ and ‘Trying to Conceive’ (PCOS and TTC) WhatsApp group with only four members on the 4th of April 2020. I created this group strictly for women who have one or two challenges in conceiving. The challenges range from PCOS, to Ovarian Cyst, Tubal blockage, Endometriosis, Fibroids, hormonal imbalance, among others

Through this group, I aim to give emotional and medical support to women who are trying to achieve their dreams of being mothers. My inspiration came from the horrible stigmatisation some women face in society, especially from family members and friends.

Question: You have been helping women with fertility issues through this platform, can you tell us the number of women on the group now?

The group consists of 97 members as of today.

How many success stories have you had since you created this group?

We have recorded over 30 pregnancies, eight miscarriages, 20 healthy babies Including a set of twins, and presently six pregnant mothers.

What are some of the misguided views people have about PCOS and what are you doing to correct these views?

Most people believe PCOS is a death sentence, while some people believe anyone trying to conceive without success must have had a shady past. Though PCOS is an endocrine disorder that has no cure but can be managed through diet and lifestyle changes, recent research showed that PCOS can be reversed while ovarian cysts, fibroids, and some other medical conditions can be cured medically.

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The group I created on WhatsApp is trying to educate and encourage people with these views.

What other Meta social media apps do you use (apart from WhatsApp) to build your community and help other women facing this challenge?

WhatsApp is the only Meta social media platform we are using.

Creating and managing a community of women comes with its ups and downs. Tell us about any challenge you have faced and how have you been able to overcome them using WhatsApp?

It is not that easy to manage people from different countries, tribes, religious beliefs and backgrounds but with the help of God, we have been able to manage and accommodate ourselves. We love one another and we are all fighting for the same cause. We all have one vision and mission which is to be a proud mothers and sail through the journey of motherhood.

My main challenge is my inability to help most of the group members who are financially constrained with the tests and drugs recommended by their gynaecologist.

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Infertility is very expensive and exhausting financially. Spending money on drugs and tests almost all the time can lead to both financial and emotional trauma. I can only encourage them to register in a government hospital to reduce the cost of their drugs and tests. Another thing is that I always follow-up with them on their treatment by sending them messages via WhatsApp, to encourage them as they go along on this fertility journey and to assure them that they are not alone.

Tell us about your most memorable experience as the founder of this group since you brought the group together on WhatsApp?

I have had a lot of memorable experiences as the founder of the group.  Receiving a positive pregnancy test from a group member is one of those beautiful and memorable experiences.

For women who may want to join this group, how can they join and what are  the requirements for inclusion?

The group is free for anyone who wants to join. The person must be female and her husband must also be aware of her intention before joining the group.

What advice would you give women like yourself helping other women through this disorder and women who are trying to conceive?

My advice for women like me in society is to keep up the good work they are doing in putting smiles on people’s faces, no amount of kindness is small.

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Do you have any future plans for this group that you would like to share with us?

Creating a private group on Facebook and also having an Instagram page for more awareness is one of our plans. I want this group to own a foundation to help more group members to achieve their motherhood journey. I want the group to partner with two fertility hospitals that can help us to subsidise the cost of IVF treatment. Some of the members need Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) like IVF, and IUI.

In conclusion, I want to say a big thanks to Mrs. Muhammed-Jimoh Rukayat (Bsc. Plant Science) for her dedication and timely research in the group. She has been so helpful in managing the group affairs. To all the group members and group admins, I say a big thank you to you all. I still want to assure you all that motherhood is your right, we will all experience the joy of motherhood Insha Allah.

Ajoke Fadairo Akindele

Is a Pharmacist and the founder of PCOS and TTC WhatsApp group.

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