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 FEATURE # 64
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Gift of Life
(19/04/2011)

The troubles of infertility is surely a crucial cause of concern for several couples these days. However, the progress of medical science has brought about new hopes. IBNS correspondent Supriyo Hazra reports

It is perhaps the problem of infertility that disturbs the married couples more than anything else these days. People marry with the hope of expanding their family but when the troubles like infertility deter their smooth flow of life, it becomes painful. However, with the advancement of medical science, the treatment for the disease has become possible these days, although there has been an increase in the number of infertility cases now.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which multiple patients have found out solution to the problem in recent times, and it is very much readily available now.

It is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body, in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed.

"Infertility problem and treatment more available to people these days, " said Dr.Rohit Gutgutia, IVF Consultant & Clinical Head, Genomee - Bhagirathi Neotia Women & Child Care Centre.

"25 years back, the acceptance of people for IVF, was less when one or two participated in it. But since 2003-2004, the awareness about this treatment has increased significantly, " he said.

Several patients have undergone treatments in recent times to find solutions to various kinds of infertility problems at the centres in the city. One among them is a couple from Bangladesh. The woman came to Kolkata for treatment. Her tubes were blocked ever since she had undergone an abortion in a shady clinic. She also had undergone IVF in Dhaka but still there was no pregnancy.

Doctors did her ultrasound and found that she had healthy looking ovaries and uterus but her left fallopian tube was swollen and enlarged with dirty fluid (hydrosalpinx). The doctors counseled her about the necessity to remove her damaged fallopian tube as because the spillage of dirty water from tubes into uterus would hamper her IVF chances as well.

"Initially she refused as that meant she would lose her tube forever. But having talked to another such patient in our clinic she agreed, " Dr Gutgutia said.

Laparoscopy revealed dense adhesions and swollen tubes which were removed with their consent. Soon an IVF was done and this time she conceived.

Truly, it is modern medicine that has found solution to the multiple complicacies that the couples face and the story if this couple was surely one such.

Surrogacy is another crucial solution to the problem of infertility that couple can choose and more and more couples are accepting it for their benefits. Take the example of a 26 year old lady from Durgapur. To lose a baby within six hours of childbirth is traumatic enough, but to also undergo hysterectomy at the same time is shattering for any young lady, and she had to face such an experience. She had to undergo preterm cesarean section with severe antepartum hemorrhage but the doctors could not arrest the bleeding even after the baby's delivery and so had to remove the uterus also.

The baby could not survive due to extreme prematurity. After this experience, the couple had given up all hope for a baby of their own.

"But then they heard of surrogacy and came to us for understanding the process. Accompanying her was her sister in law, from the same family. When explained the kind hearted sister-in-law immediately agreed to be her gestational carrier i.e. the eggs and sperm would be from the couple but the sister-in-law would be delivering the baby after carrying it in her womb for 9 months. Once all the legal papers to this effect were in place, the IVF-et cycle was taken up and the surrogate successfully delivered a boy last year, " the doctor said.

However, situations become tougher in case of 'HIV serodiscordance', where one partner is HIV positive while the other is not.

But doctors feel that with the advancement of medical science and with the readiness of the couples to undergo these treatments, life have become much more smoother than before.

In one such instance at a doctor from Birbhum had sent one such couple to a city hospital, where the husband, who had been working outside had contracted the virus but wife was free from the disease.

The doctors offered them intrauterine insemination after counseling. Husband's semen was washed in the lab using disposable consumables and frozen in two parts. One part was sent to an accredited lab to see if there was any HIV load left in that sample.

When all the formalities were cleared the doctors went ahead with the insemination. And after proper treatment the couple has a healthy boy. Moreover, both wife and the son remain protected from the dreaded disease.

"This kind of a treatment is rather a novelty rather than a treatment, " Rohit said.

Speaking about the factors that are mainly responsible for the growing infertility cases in recent years, the doctor said: "Pollution is a crucial reason behind this trouble, moreover the sperm quality in case of males are decreasing these days and in case of women they are getting fatter, which adds to the trouble as less and less eggs are growing."

Doctors also inform that infertility rate has increased significantly now with one out of seven couples facing the problems of infertility.

"More and more ladies below the age of 25 are getting affected by infertility. This is really a big cause of concern, " the doctor said.

Although the growing rise of infertility cases is a big concern for the doctors who have been fighting hard to gift children to these couples, the risk of infertility can be reduced significantly, if both males and females get more and more awareness about the troubles besides following simple changes in the lifestyle.

The young girls should try to avoid junk foods (more carbohydrates) and, males should try to follow a healthy lifestyle to reduce chances.

They should go early to bed and get up early in the morning, besides avoiding caffeine and exposure to excessive heat for long time.

All these simple steps can help fight infertility, say doctors.
India Blooms News Service
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