Dr. Shaweez Faizi is a consultant in gynaecology and reproductive medicine at Unity Hospital Mangaluru.

Infertility by definition is the inability of a couple to conceive a child after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse. With the advent of science and research in this particular field, many couples who believe they have infertility have been regrouped as being sub-fertile where there is only a delay in conceiving. Unlike any other medical condition, the diagnosis of subfertility is not made in a day.

The sub-fertile couple

For the couple, it gradually sinks in when they realize that they have not been able to bear a child one month after the other. A negative urine pregnancy test where they are hoping for that second line of confirmation to appear, even faintly! Or the start of your periods- A sign that you are not pregnant is the sign and stuff that triggers a feeling that cannot be put in words by the couple.

However, like any other long-standing problem, the stages are probably the same. The realization of the problem, denial, trying for a few more months may help, re-realization! And finally gradual acceptance of the issue.

Then comes the next step- The decision to meet a doctor for an opinion. Several rounds of discussion, frustration-filled months, and depression may follow. Hesitation to visit a clinic, social stigma associated with the problem, worries of expenditures involved in the treatment process may lead to further delay in addressing the problem.

As doctors, we feel the society needs a change in the mental setup for this issue. Of course, there are couples who are showing up earlier, seeking treatment for want of a baby, but the above said hurdles still exist in all strata of the community. For the mental setup to change and more people to come forward for treatment, one of the most important factors is awareness of the issue.

The following section is a set of FAQ’s linked with infertility.

Q: Who should visit an infertility specialist?

A: A couple staying together and having unprotected intercourse with the inability of having conceived for 1 year.

Q: Should you consider visiting a specialist earlier than 1 year?

A: Yes, if the age of the female partner is ≥ 35years, if the couple suspects any underlying cause for infertility, it is advisable to get evaluated even 6 months after unprotected intercourse.

Q: What are the symptoms/pointers towards a potential underlying cause for infertility?

A: Female partner experiencing irregular, delayed periods/heavy bleeding/excessive pain during periods/during sexual intercourse. Male partner with difficulty in maintaining an erection/other coital difficulties.

Q: What to expect when visiting a fertility clinic?

A: Your preliminary visit will comprise a detailed history of your menstrual cycles/previous pregnancy details/past treatment history followed by initial hormonal evaluation, ultrasound, and semen analysis.

You will be explained in detail about the factors attributing to infertility for you as a couple and the possible treatment options.

For a better understanding, one must be aware of the natural process of conception/ becoming pregnant.

In a regularly menstruating woman, an egg is released between day 12 to day 14 of the menses cycle, which is carried by the fallopian tube. Following sexual intercourse after millions of sperms are released, the sperm must travel to the fallopian tube and fertilize the egg (in the fallopian tube). After fertilization, the embryo reaches the uterus 4 days later to attach to the inner uterine lining, following which the growth of the embryo occurs.

Depending on the risk factors/ pointers towards a problem, necessary investigations may need to be carried out and treatment will be planned accordingly.

Q: What can you do to contribute to better results in your treatment?

A: Lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a normal BMI, avoiding weight gain (both male and female partners), curtailing habits such as smoking/ consumption of alcohol/ junk foods will help a long way.

The process of evaluation and treatment for a couple with a fertility issue is a gradual one. Many investigations and treatments will be planned as per your menstrual cycles, few treatment results may need a follow up for even 3 to 6 months depending on the factors.

Hence it requires patience, persistence, and most of all a positive attitude by the couple to over the top of the issue goals.

Come start this journey with us and we assure you to guide you and partner in your journey towards parenthood. Meeting a fertility specialist is one of the several important steps you have to take to begin this journey so why postpone it for tomorrow!

 

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Bengaluru, Apr 20: Karnataka has reported its biggest single day spike of 21,794 COVID-19 cases and 149 related fatalities, taking the total caseload 11.98 lakh and the toll to 13,646, the Health department said on Tuesday.

The state had previously reported its biggest single day spike of 19,067 cases on Sunday.

Out of the 21,794 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, 13,782 were from Bengaluru Urban alone.

The day also saw 4,571 patients getting discharged after recovery.

Cumulatively 11,98,644 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 13,646 deaths and 10,25,821 discharges,the Health department said in a bulletin.

Out of 1,59,158 active cases, 1,58,407 patients are stable and in isolation at designated hospitals, while 751 are in Intensive Care Units.

Among 149 deaths reported on Tuesday, 92 were from Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural (13), Bidar and Kalaburagi (7), Ballari (5), followed by others.

Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 13,782, Tumakuru 1,055, Kalaburagi 818, Mysuru 699, Bengaluru Rural 513, Dakshina Kannada 482, followed by others.

Bengaluru Urban district topped the list of positive cases, with a total of 5,70,035, followed by Mysuru 63,018 and Ballari 42,745.

Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban was on top with 4,49,889, followed by Mysuru 57,745 and Ballari 39,829.

A total of over 2,38,64,354 samples have been tested so far, out of which 1,47,488 were done on Tuesday alone.

To view today's health bulletin: CLICK HERE