Femina Health Series: How PCOS Affects Fertility

Couples whose attempts at parenthood do not succeed are already stressed and PCOS can only add to it. Our experts today are here to assure couples that there is no reason to despair as there is a way forward. In today’s discussion with our four medical experts, we take a look at an issue that affects almost 20% of the women in India – polycystic ovarian syndrome or as we know it, PCOS – and how it affects those couples who are looking at becoming parents via IVF. They help us understand the causes of this syndrome, how to identify it, the need to seek medical help and the lifestyle changes that will help.


As we started learning about PCOS, Dr Shital Punjabi, Founding Director at Shashwat IVF & Women’s Hospital, Ahmedabad, shed light on how it is a syndrome and affects the woman’s body from head to toe. Some of the symptoms she mentions are crankiness, irregular and scanty periods, and weight gain among other things. At a later stage, she says, the girl might face problems in conceiving if PCOS is not addressed in time. A revelation she has is that it is not necessary all girls suffer from this syndrome or that all who do experience all the symptoms, these are just indicative of the fact that medical intervention is needed.  

Moving forward Dr Krithika Devi, Senior Consultant at NOVA IVF Fertility MRC Nagar, Chennai, clears the fact that women who have PCOS need not worry about becoming mothers, since it is possible. Couples often conceive naturally too, if the woman has PCOS. Even with IVF, the success rate is fairly good. “The most common medical issue seen with women with PCOS during an IVF treatment is ovarian hyperstimulation. That is, the body produces a lot of eggs, which might lead to abdomen pain and discomfort. The positive part is there are many eggs to work with, based on their quality,” she elaborates.


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Half the battle is won when the woman is already aware of the condition is getting it treated. Dr Kalyanai Shrimali, Senior Consultant Reproductive Medicine at NOVA IVF, Indore, points out that awareness is a wonderful way to start. “The IVF treatment is always teamwork between the couples and the consulting doctor. We always counsel the couple for lifestyle changes that will help. Of course, these can’t happen overnight, but the willingness and drive to do it will improve the chances of success,” she says. She also mentions that PCOS increases the stress hormones, so any positive lifestyle changes will help reduce stress levels and improve the ability to conceive.


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As is understood, counselling of the couples who are already stressed about becoming parents, is extremely crucial in such cases. Dr Hitendra Somani, Director at Nirmal IVF & Test Tube Baby Centre, Bhavnagar, says that he advises couples to address basic issues life stress, diet, lifestyle and addiction issues, if any. “Eventually, couples do become pregnant, but the ride is a bit bumpier than usual, due to PCOS, so they have to be very careful in avoiding complications and adhering to the medication schedule,” he says. In this entire journey, the most important person who needs to be by the side of the woman is the life partner. “The partner and family members must understand that the lady is not only going through physical stress but also a lot of emotional upheaval, and she needs support most at this time.”All the doctors agreed on the fact that PCOS can be treated and will not form a major hindrance if it is caught young, and addressed properly. They also suggested that the best way to address it is with the help of a medical practitioner and appropriate lifestyle changes for the long term.

To know more, visit www.bsvstartivf.com

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Femina Health Series: Causes Of Infertility And The Way Forward

When couples look to become parents and their attempts do not succeed, they are at a loss. They feel that they are victims, there is a thought of “Why me?”

We brought together five experts who suggested that couples look for medical assistance instead, for a way forward. In this discussion, we look at the causes of infertility and the treatment options available for couples who want to experience the joy of parenthood.

The discussion began with Dr Priya Kannan – IVF Lab Director, Garbba Rakshambigai Fertility Centre, Chennai, listing the types and causes of infertility among women. She mentioned that infertility causes are divided into three categories: those from the male partner, causes from the female partner, and third, the unexplained infertility causes. With scientific advancements, these unexplained causes are being found, and research is still on.

Touching upon the causes from the male partner, Dr Kundan Ingale – Director, Nirmiti Clinic, Centre for Assisted Reproduction & Endoscopy, Pune, talked about the social taboo that existed until about a decade ago, where men feel all is good for them. He mentioned that the male factor makes up for about 40% causes and that is quite huge, so men should be open to undergo the tests.


Coming to the one of the biggest doubts that usually plagues the minds of couples, Dr Parul Katiyar – Co-medical Director India, ART Fertility Clinics, Delhi, said if a couples has been actively trying to get pregnant for a year, and have not been successful, they should seek assistance. She also emphasised the age of the woman as one of the major factors that influences the timeline for treatment. This is because women have a limited reproductive life, and with advancing age, fertility declines. Thus, the urgency of time is high for women who are older than 35 years.

Dr Poornima Durga – Medical Director And Chief Fertility Consultant at MOM IVF & Research Centre, Hyderabad, then went on to talk of the treatment options available to couples, from medications for better ovulation right up to assisted reproductive technologies, including intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). The treatments, of course, would depend on the cause of infertility and the medical history of the couple.


Dr Babita Panda – Managing Director & Chief IVF consultant at Future Fertility IVF Center, Bhubaneswar, shed light on the number of IUI cycles that a women can opt for before thinking of the steps ahead in case the treatment is not successful. She also stressed the age of the woman was a factor here as well, but generally, a woman can opt for two IUI cycles.

All the experts spoke about the importance of counselling for the couples when they come in for diagnosis and treatment and how it played a major role in them dealing with the outcome of the treatment, since the success rate of IVF treatments is about 50%. They also spoke of the lifestyle factors that affect reproductive health among men as well as women.

To know more, visit www.bsvstartivf.com

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Femina Health Series: The Transformation Seen In IVF Treatments

With the changing times, we have seen that medical treatments and options available are progressing swiftly, as is the choice for couples to opt for fertility treatments. While it was seen as the last resort a few years back, today, IVF treatment is being actively sought after, as a well-evaluated option by couples. Over the years, there have been many advancements in the field, and with that safety and health of the patients remain of paramount importance for the practitioners. Even then, there are many doubts and questions in the minds of those seeking IVF, so our special panelists today will shed ample light on the latest technology and developments.

So, Femina, in association with Bharat Serums and Vaccines Ltd hosted a CEO Forum Panel Discussion on The Transformation Seen In IVF Treatments as part of the Femina Dialogues – The Health Series.

The discussion saw comments and suggestions from Mr Vinesh Gadhia – India CEO, ART Fertility Clinics and Dr Kshitiz Murdia – CEO & Co-founder, Indira IVF Centre.

Mr Gadhia has over 28 years of experience in healthcare and has been instrumental in advancing the fertility industry in India. In his prior career stints, he successfully built commercial teams, developed strategy, and expanded scientific partnerships throughout healthcare market.

Dr Murdia is one of the youngest professionals to have led an organisation to such success. He is passionate about clinical research and has a number of articles published in reputed national and international journals, including British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (BJOG) and Frontiers in Endocrinology (Lausanne).

The discussion, moderated by Shraddha Kamdar, Production Editor – Femina, started off with understanding the developments that have occurred in the field over the years, and how the treatment today is far more advanced than ever before even though IVF is a relatively new field in medical science.

Mr Gadhia mentioned that he believed that the discover by Professor Dr Bruno Lunenfled of hormones being extracted was the main milestone towards treating infertility among couples. He also credited the invention of the procedure of In Vitro Fertlisation (IVF) by Dr Patrick Steptoe and Dr Robert Edwards as a major step forward. Post that, he mentioned there are many developments which make the IVF procedure – where in the embryo is fertilised outside the body – better and more effective.

Dr Murdia then spoke about the increase in awareness of the infertility conditions and treatments over the years. “One major change that I have witnessed in the last decade or so is the awareness. The fact that people are ready to talk. Initially there was a fear of social stigma, or blaming women only, but that is changing,” he said. A big step towards improvement in numbers was that couples were ready to come to clinics and discuss it has a medical problem with the doctors and talking openly about it.

The panellists also mentioned how it was a rapidly changing field, and measures are taken to make procedures more friendly. Despite that, lack of awareness and accessibility to clinics prevents the field to grow to its fullest potential in the country.

Collectively the artificial intelligence and new drugs and methods are helping couples getting more positive outcomes. Mr Gadhia started working on opening the minds of the couples towards infertility as a medical disease about a decade ago. He mentioned that couples, when they realise the problem, go to a gynaecologist for treatment and diagnoses, keep changing doctors and beliefs. Until the gynaecologists do not refer them to an IVF centre, couples will go through rounds of futile treatments, losing precious time in the bargain. Time, Dr Murdia mentioned was the single most important factor in getting an IVF cycle and its outcome.

The experts believed that creating educational and awareness programmes was necessary by clinics. They also said that chains of clinics can better enable gather and enable resources for treatment, which improves the patient experience and also, outcomes, all this at an affordable cost, owing to economies of scale. They also caution the viewers, that even though the treatment of an IVF cycle is perceived to be costly, it is in fact, one of the best, most modern and goal-oriented with high positive results in the country. If clinics were to reduce the costs any further, it would compromise on the quality of the treatment.

In the concluding segment, the CEOs spoke about the need to act fast, and not waste time over other treatments, if infertility is diagnosed.

Bharat Serums and Vaccines Ltd is one of the fastest growing bio pharmaceutical companies In India. For over 50 years now, Bharat Serums and Vaccines has used its scientific resources to develop a range of biological, biotech and pharmaceutical products to treat various types of diseases, especially in the IVF, women’s health and critical care space, and continues to contribute to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life.

Issued in Public Interest by BSV
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Femina Health Series: Overcoming Risks Of Seeking IVF During COVID Times

2020 changed the landscape on many fronts of life as we knew it! Medical facilities and the options usually available underwent drastic changes, as with it the choice in opting for fertility treatments. While invitro-fertilisation (IVF) in its own way is empowering for women, offering them options on how and when to conceive, the ongoing pandemic brings forth many doubts and questions. How safe will it be to seek treatment in these times? Will it be worth the risk? What if…something goes wrong? These form only the tip of the iceberg.

So, Femina, in association with Bharat Serums and Vaccines (BSV) Ltd, hosted a Conversation On IVF with expert doctors as part of Femina Dialogues – The Health Series on the topic, Seeking Fertility Treatment During The COVID Pandemic Times

The discussion saw comments and suggestions from Dr Richa Jagtap – Clinical Director and Consultant, Reproductive Medicine at Nova IVF Fertility Centre, Chembur, Mumbai and Dr Preethi Reddy – Lead IVF Consultant, Birthright – Rainbow Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Dr Jagtap has over 15 years of experience in the field and was a merit holder during her academic year. She has completed an academic fellowship in Reproductive Medicine and Endocrinology at KK Women’s and Children’s hospital Singapore. She is a founder member of Fertility Preservation Society of India, among other societies.

Dr Reddy is an IVF specialist with vast expertise and training from reputed institutes in India and abroad. She is the lead clinician for the IVF programme at Rainbow Hospitals and has been vital in setting up the IVF unit. Her particular area of expertise is in successfully treating patients with previous IVF failures and diminished ovarian reserve.

The discussion, moderated by Shraddha Kamdar, Production Editor – Femina, started off with understanding the psychological and physiological effects that infertility can have on a woman, and understanding the recourse from that point. The doctors answered pertinent questions related to sensitive patience care, safety measures to be taken, the age and time at which couple should seek help, and the processes and types of treatments available to patients.

Dr Preethi pointed out that often couples think that the period of trying to conceive determines when they should seek medical help, but that is not the case. “It is important for couples to understand that the age factor is very important, irrespective of the number of years they have been married for. For instance, if the patient is above 35 years of age and has been trying for over six months, unsuccessfully, she should seek assistance. If she is over 37 or 38 years, she should consider it even after trying for three months. The rest of the couples who are younger, should think of it after a year of trying with natural unprotected intercourse,” she informed.

Talking of the risks and measures to be taken during treatment at this sensitive time, amid the pandemic, both doctors said that they advise their patients to wait if possible, until things are better. Dr Jagtap also mentioned that taking all the safety precautions following all the ISAR (Indian Society For Assisted Reproduction) guidelines at the clinic helps put the patients at ease, so they feel secure in the environment around them. She added the most important measure, “We ensure patients have not had fever in the past week, and have had no COVID contact. But, no matter what precautions are taken where, one thing that is not debatable is masking up. So, please make sure you are masking up when stepping out and keeping your interactions in crowded places as minimal as possible,” she said.

Both doctors talked of recourses available for those women who might be suffering from other medical conditions like thyroid, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and cancer.

In the concluding segment, they spoke of the way forward if the IVF treatment failed, and how patients should not to see it as the end of the road. They also talked of how couples should understand that the treatment does not come with a guarantee, but the doctors will be with them every step of the way.

Bharat Serums and Vaccines Ltd is one of the fastest growing bio pharmaceutical companies In India. For over 50 years now, Bharat Serums and Vaccines has used its scientific resources to develop a range of biological, biotech and pharmaceutical products to treat various types of diseases, especially in the IVF, women’s health and critical care space, and continues to contribute to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life.

Issued in Public Interest by BSV
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