Understanding Infertility - A quick Insight to the Aspiring Parents

Date:   Tuesday , February 21, 2017

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Milann is one of India\'s leading fertility hospital chains. It treats patients in the areas of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), pre-implantation genetic disorders, fetal therapy and general gynecology & obstetrics, and specializes in reproductive endocrinology, clinical trials, ovarian biology, reproductive immunology and the genetics of fertility.

In spite of the largely available awareness on infertility and its treatment options, it is disheartening to witness that many of the couples are unaware of the few basic facts and aspects related to infertility. Many still prefer to consider it as a taboo and end up receiving a hush-hush and hotchpotch treatment from unauthorized centres or personnel. They seldom realize that this will have serious repercussions on their health - both physically and emotionally.

If the recent reports are to go by, as many as 30 million Indians in the reproductive age group suffer from infertility. According to data available with healthcare private equity firm Quadria Capital, although infertility affects nearly 28 million couples seeking children, only one percent of them are seeking treatment. This is largely due to lack of awareness on infertility and the treatment options that are available.

It is significant for every individual and couple to understand the term \'infertility\' and how to overcome the odds. Instead of considering it as a taboo, people should understand that infertility is a disease of the reproductive system where in the couple is unable to conceive after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse. Both men and women may have problems in conceiving. Reports say that 46 percent of Indians, between the ages of 31 and 40 require medical intervention to conceive as one or both partners suffer from fertility problems. Among the women, polycystic ovarian disorder was cited as the main reason; among men, poor sperm count topped the list.
Tips to Couples

A couple should be evaluated for infertility if they have not conceived after one year of unprotected intercourse. The couple must ensure to take necessary preparations for a successful treatment. The usual precautions of a healthy diet and lifestyle, no smoking, keeping your weight and BMI at an optimal level, all help to improve fertility as well as better your chances of success following fertility treatment. While infertility treatment is more or less day care, not involving long hospital stays, it should also be remembered that there can be significant risks involved with treatment. And certainly, these risks can be prevented or minimized to a large extent by consulting trained infertility specialists.

Burst these Myths

IVF is a Painful Procedure: Fertility drugs might cause a mild reaction in some patients, and may involve hot flushes, feeling down, irritability and restlessness. These symptoms disappear in a short time. In some patients, ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS) is observed as an over-reaction to fertility drugs. It could cause symptoms like swollen stomach, stomach pains and nausea. Patients must contact their infertility clinician immediately in such cases. There is no pain during IVF apart from the injections which woman receives. However, in some patients, ovarian torsion could be another observed side-effect. Mild pelvic discomfort arises because the size of ovaries increases during the stimulation period.

Repeated IVF Can Lead to Endometriosis: No, there is no study which has proven so. Prolonged infertility, per se, has been associated with endometriosis.

Infertility is a Genetic Disorder: Infertility, by itself, is not a genetic disorder. But some of the reasons for infertility like PCOS, premature ovarian failure, or Endometriosis have been associated with a genetic linkage. These might increase the risk of infertility. In case of males, genetic conditions such as Y-chromosome microdeletion and Kleinfelter\'s syndrome are associated with infertility.

There Is 100 Percent Success after IVF: Not true. Success rates all over the world are not more than 40-50 percent.

Quick Guidelines to Doctors

Doctors need to realize that the stress, strain, and difficult feelings connected to infertility treatment are universal and not to be taken lightly. The doctor will need to counsel the patient thoroughly on what the treatment choices are, the chances of success with each one, as well as the side effects of drugs, possible risks such as multiple pregnancy, OHS, others. Doctors also need to ensure that the patient is in good physical health before any treatment or before taking the patient up for any procedure like diagnostic hysteroscopy/laparoscopy or IVF. If the patient has any complications like hypertension or diabetes, these should be controlled before subjecting the patient to any treatment.