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Exploding myths Exploding...

Scientific advances have instilled new hope in couples with infertility problems, says Dr. Nandita P. Palshetkar, co-founder of the Babies and Us Fertility, IVF and ICSI Centre, Mumbai, who was in Chennai recently.

ADVANCES IN science have come as a saviour, especially in the field of obstetrics. Infertility is no more an objectionable word in society and people are willing to learn about it. Dr. Nandita P. Palshetkar, gynaecologist and co-founder of the Babies and Us Fertility, IVF and ICSI Centre at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, was in Chennai recently to create awareness about the latest technology in this field. With over seven years of experience in treating patients with infertility problems, she answered questions to dispel the myths about it.

What is infertility?

Normally, infertility occurs due to ovarian failure, polycystic ovaries, block in the fallopian tubes, less number of male chromosomes and so on. The incidence of infertility is about 15-20 per cent in India. And if a couple is infertile, 30 per cent of the chances are that it is due to men and 30 per cent of it could be due to women and sometimes, 30 per cent of it could be due to both partners. Most often, 60 per cent of the infertility cases are treated successfully, but infertility in the remaining 10 per cent is unexplained. And as for the tests, many are under the wrong impression that trying tests are done; but the truth is there are many simple ones.

How do you treat infertility?

The simplest treatment is the IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination). This therapy has a success rate of 15-20 per cent. It requires no anaesthesia and can be performed by a gynaecologist. It is important that women should not be menopausal when they opt for this treatment. The next treatment is the IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) or test tube baby, wherein the success rate is around 25-35 per cent. This treatment is given to women with blocked fallopian tubes, men with sub-fertility, patients with multiple failed IUI cycles and TB-infected women. And the third treatment is the Micromanipulation or ICSI (Intra Cystoplasmic Sperm Injection). With this therapy most of the infertile men can beget children, who are genetically their own and the success rate is 25-35 per cent. Among the advanced treatments are Laser Assisted Hatching, introduced in India at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, and Blastocyst Culture. Both these therapies have a good success rate and the former can be suggested for women over 35 years.

With these advancements, is it possible to treat those above 40 for infertility?

Pregnancy is age-related. In women, the fertility rate decreases with ageing. Almost 50 per cent of them face difficulty in conceiving. For women above 40, late marriage, menopause, premature ovarian failure or career issues make conception difficult.

For which category of women is ovum donation recommended?

Normally, this procedure is recommended for women over 40, those who have had recurrent abortions and those with multiple IVF/ICSI cycle failures.

What about male infertility?

There are some tests that men also should undergo. Usually, treatment of male infertility is handled by an andrologist. Like ovum donation, there are also sperm banks that help in artificial insemination. For men and women above 40 in whom these methods have not worked, adoption is advised.

Do you think that there is adequate awareness among the people about infertility?

I have conducted various free infertility camps in Gujarat and Maharashtra. We have also visited rural areas and given talks on infertility and the available treatments. I also conduct teleshows about the same on the national channels so that I can reach the rural audience better. It is really a welcome change that more and more rural patients come forward to undergo these treatments. It may be due to societal pressure that they undergo this treatment but it is good to learn that there is widespread awareness now. And there is a new hope for disappointed couples .

For more information, visit www.1to9months.com/www.infertility.com or mail your queries to nanditapalshetkar@ hotmail.com

P.S.

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