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16 Saudi High School Teens Attend Workshop On External Fertilization

Sixteen female students from model high schools attended a workshop on external fertilization, a two-day session held in the Al-Malaz Center of Science and Medical Studies.

Professor Maha Al-Daghestani, vice dean of animal science division said the workshop was a service to the community and to King Saud University’s younger generation. In external fertilization, a sperm cell is united with an egg cell externally to the bodies of the reproducing individuals, in contrast to internal fertilization which takes place inside the female after insemination through copulation.

Dr. Al-Daghestani was one of five speakers who discussed a variety of fertilization topics ranging from reproductive hormones to health and reproduction, external fertilization technology. Two lecturers presented workshops on dealing with lab animals, giving spermatozoids the fertilizing capability, and external fertilization.

Dr. Nadia Al-Issa, director of the Center of Science and Medical Studies research center and one of the speakers, explained the workshop’s purpose.

“In recent years, problems were encountered with the pregnancy of recently-married women,” research center director Nadia Al-Issa and another of the workshop speaker, said. “These problems included repeated miscarriages, pregnancy delays or failures which prompted increased reliance on infertility clinics. Sadly, husbands who visit these clinics have little knowledge of the possible medications and the method of its use, from the easy to the more difficult (pregnancies).

“They were not well aware of the effects of each medication, health-wise, psychologically, and even financially. Hence, the idea of the workshop. It is our aim to acquaint participants with types of pregnancy aids, such as artificial insemination (inside the womb), external fertilization (test-tube baby technology) and microscopic injection.”

Dr. Al-Issa said that additional light will be shed on the infertility problem of men. She explained that it is a problem that may affect 25 percent of the world’s male population. Half of the failed pregnancy cases, she explained, may be linked to the male’s sperm count which over the last 50 years has dwindled, according to various international studies.

Workshop co-supervisor Raqiyyah Al-Sabeel said that model high schools have been cooperative in extracting DNA for the central lab in the Al-Malaz’s program and the attending student’s implied that the lab’s efforts have produced an insightful workshop.

“It was an experience which provided useful knowledge for every-day personal life,” student Samiyya Al-Fayez said. “I look forward to repeating this experience and to know more about the inner-working in the human body and finding cures for infertility.

Two of Al-Sabeel’s classmates also found the workshop to be enlightening.

“We benefited a lot and discovered some customs in our life which may inflict on us heavy bodily harm,” Najla Sayyed said. “The reproductive system lecture was greatly beneficial to me. This workshop was a splendid scientific journey [and] we thank our school and the center.”

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