Nowadays, infertility is on a rise in both men and women. Studies say that one out of every seven couples in the world is unable to have a child. Dr Shruti Malvi, Director of Kbpn Malvi Hospital in Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, has been extensively working on the problem of infertility. She gives us an insight into the world of infertility and the myths behind it.
Infertility and the related worries
The processes of ovulation and fertilisation need to happen correctly to get pregnant. Sometimes the issues that cause infertility in couples are present at birth, and sometimes they develop later in life. Dr Shruti defines Infertility as the failure to achieve clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
The main symptom of infertility is not getting pregnant. There may be no other obvious symptoms. Sometimes, an infertile woman may have irregular or absent menstrual periods. Rarely, an infertile man may have some signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth or sexual function. It weighs immensely on both the partners emotionally as well as psychologically.
The female partner unfortunately suffers guilt and frustration while males (especially in the rural set up) start searching for alternatives. Even if they are mutually understanding and patient, the social and family pressure affects their psyche negatively, so much so that it hampers the hormonal balance diminishing further, their chances of having a baby. It requires considerable amount of patience and a will to trust the Doctor to let such a phase pass and bask on the happiness of recovery later.
The condition requires a whole spectrum of measures to be effectively taken, the most important being counseling of both partners. They need to be stabilised psychologically first before they can embark on any treatment and this has to continue not just till conception but till the baby is delivered and even beyond. Then come the customized treatment modalities depending on the causative factors, for instance, medicines, artificial reproductive techniques etc.
Most of the couples can conceive eventually with or without treatment. With the advanced Artificial Reproductive technologies and methods like, IVF, ICSI, GIFT etc, and with Surrogacy and Ovum or Sperm donation it’s very rare not to have a baby. PESA, TESA, TESE (techniques for sperm retrieval) are granting hopes for complete azoospermia (medical condition of a man whose semen contains no sperm) nowadays.
Lastly adoption is always a fair option. Newer techniques to help childless couple are coming in every day. The government is also addressing this grave problem with vehemence. With Roshni clinics, Call centres for counseling and efforts to decrease the financial burden and making the treatment more accessible, future seems positive.
Shruti Malvi who works towards providing solutions to infertility shares, “I grew up to be a mature woman journeying from being a girl with all her issues as an adolescent, to a wife, a mother of two kids, apart from being a Health care professional, a Doctor. Thus I see myself in each and every female of our species. This has helped me to empathise effortlessly and understand their problems better.
The solution of a problem comes easy when you understand the problem itself properly. I improvise solutions which are not just giving medicines or doing surgeries. The goal that I work on, is making life happier for whoever comes to me, as a patient, family, relative or friend in the best of my capacity as a human being and a health care professional.”Life has not been easy for Dr. Shruti. It was just recently that a major traumatic incident left her shocked and devastated but, that made her look at the positive side of life and make the most of what she has today. She believes that one must work like there’s no tomorrow!
“My husband and I met with a near fatal car accident in 2014. It blatantly showed us the value of life and our sheer inability to have any control over it. We thus are working harder and faster to make it more worthwhile. I share my dream with him in making a Health Mall which will have smiles for whoever enters it, patient or not, may it be a toddler of 8yrs or an ailing 80yr old. From Patient to ‘Person’ will be our endeavor.”
By Ishita Lamba