As an undergraduate student pursuing a BSc in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nairobi, Dr. Wanjiru Ndegwa discovered her passion for the reproductive process. This prompted her to pursue a Masters in Obstetrics and Gynecology which fueled her passion even more, leading her to further her studies by attending a Reproductive Medicine Fellowship in Belgium in 2012. This training and experience enabled her to educate and offer better care to couples struggling to conceive.
When she came back to Kenya, her experience saw local hospitals build confidence in her and she worked with public hospitals, including Kikuyu Mission Hospital and Kenyatta National Hospital. She has also worked with Avenue Health Care, among other private hospitals. With over ten years of experience in this industry, she has garnered trust with many, leading to her Board Certification in Infertility and Endocrinology.
In her early years of work, Dr. Wanjiru witnessed women and men struggle with infertility and societal stigma. At the time, there was only one IVF clinic in Kenya and a lot of misinformation about infertility in the general public. This inspired her to start Footsteps to Fertility Foundation in 2013, with a mission to educate the public through fertility seminars. In the seminars, she educated couples on the causes of infertility and the medical technologies that could be offered to help them grow their families, always ensuring that they understood that creation is ultimately divine. With this information, couples were able to make informed decisions when seeking treatment. To date, the foundation is still instilling knowledge and impacting more lives.
With humble beginnings and big dreams to impact more lives, Dr. Wanjiru started Footsteps to Fertility Centre in 2015. The Centre carried out its first IVF treatment in 2016, which resulted in the delivery of a beautiful baby boy. This further confirmed her mission to help couples fulfill their dream of becoming parents and growing their families.
To date, Footsteps to Fertility Centre focuses on its mission: which is to help couples struggling to conceive, fulfill their dream of becoming parents. Its vision is to offer holistic care to couples who struggle to conceive by helping them understand their diagnosis and walking with them in their fertility journey, using the most modern fertility treatments available.
According to Dr. Wanjiru, there is still a lot of societal stigma towards couples seeking fertility treatments in Africa. However, on the positive side, Dr. Wanjiru notes that couples are embracing infertility issues together rather than leaving it to the woman alone. Couples are also, seeking help while young rather than waiting until they are over 40 years, as was the case some years back.
In the future of fertility technologies, Dr Wanjiru hopes that scientists will discover the many unknowns concerning fertility treatments. She hopes that she can guarantee patients better success rates and less expensive treatments.
In terms of societal perception, she desires to make women and men understand that they are still whole with or without a child. She believes that an individual’s wholeness should be based on who they are, their maker, and His purpose for them. Dr. Wanjiru wishes that society allowed people to be themselves and focus less on their struggles with infertility. She believes that with more people acquiring knowledge about infertility, there will be a better understanding of the need for fertility treatment, the process, and better acceptance of the treatment results.
As a fertility specialist, Dr. Wanjiru leads her team at Footsteps to Fertility Centre to prioritize their patients’ mental well-being as the key to successful fertility treatment. She achieves this by offering quality, personalized care, and psychological support.
Besides being a Fertility Specialist, Doctor Wanjiru is a wife and a mother. The joy she gets from having a family motivates her to put a smile on her patients who desire to become parents. She also enjoys travelling, adventure, baking, and reading.