Misconceptions Causing Hurdle in Infertility Treatment: Experts

NAGPUR: Having long focused only on the female partners while treating infertility, doctors are now also now taking into consideration other factors like male contribution and erratic lifestyle. Even as these changes are being introduced, infertility experts are finding that many couples are hesitant to accept them and several others have many misconceptions regarding the treatment.

Doctors find that most couples approaching them for infertility treatment have already read a lot on the subject and come with lot of prejudices. Also, this ‘knowledge’ gained from the Internet creates unrealistic expectations from the doctors. Several such issues were discussed at the meet organized by theNagpur Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society (NOGS) on modern approaches to infertility treatment recently.

“With so many lifestyle changes and increased stress, physical conditions alone cannot be held responsible for infertility. In fact, in several cases, distancing the affected couple from the factors that affect fertility increase chances of conception,” said NOGS secretary Dr AlkaMukherjee. She believes that changes in lifestyle necessitate change in the treatment modalities too.

Mumbai based gynaecologist Dr Kedar Ganla said at least half his patients prefer changing their doctors rather than the habits that may be resulting in infertility. “The problem is that couples expect doctors to work wonders because they read so many success stories on the Internet. So, they expect instant results. What they do not realize is that the habits or factors responsible for infertility have been with them for long so their effects cannot be undone in a jiffy,” he said.

City based gynaecologist Dr Chaitanya Shembekar believes Internet trawling can be helpful if the results are interpreted rightly. “What you read on Internet is not necessarily an expert opinion. One should discuss these sources with doctors to avoid confusion,” he said.

Talking about the components of modern living that can affect fertility, Dr Shembekar said, “Several habits like late working hours, increased use of mobiles and laptops are among things that affect one’s body clock and also fertility. That is why doctors advise to keep away from them during treatment. Also, patients must bear in mind that even when taking treatment, there is only 25% chances of conception per cycle.” He added that couples should consider medical help only after trying natural conception for at least a year, and at least for six months in case of women above 30 years of age.

NOGS president Dr Mangala Ghisad said that people have started thinking that artificial reproductive techniques are very easy to use. “They see Aishwarya Rai bearing a child at 38 and hear about Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan becoming fathers late in their 40s using ART. What they do not realize is the amount of trouble and the investment that these stars made before welcoming their children into the world,” she said.

Dr Ganla asserts that when couples seek consultation, they should show some patience and have faith in the doctor. He said that planning a pregnancy at the right time, before a woman turns 30, is the most effective way to avoid problems.

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