Dr. Nutan Agarwal, Professor at Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Delhi’s AIIMS shares about IVF and rise of infertility in India and talks about being a woman doctor, in an interview with Lybrate
Q: When do some couples need In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
Dr. Nutan: The most important reason couples need In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the blockage in fallopian tubes, lost or damaged fallopian tubes. Other reasons could be unexplained infertility, problems with ovulation, low sperm count, low quality semen etc. As the age of a woman increases, the outcomes of IVF becomes poor.
Q: Infertility in women is rising at an alarming pace in India. Please share reasons?
Dr. Nutan: A sedentary and hectic lifestyle, stress, inactivity, obesity etc. are the main reasons that are contributing to conception problems in women. When a woman is overweight, she may develop problems like Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and insulin resistance which affects the fertility of a woman. Other factors like genital tuberculosis infection creates defects in fallopian tube of a woman, endometriosis which results in abnormal growth in the woman’s reproductive system are also contributing factors. Not to mention that delayed marriages and deferred first child conception have a major role to play in the increasing incidences of infertility among women in India. The most common age group in which infertility occurs is between 28-35 years. The incidences of infertility have increased tremendously in the last 15-20 years. Women should eat healthy, do regular physical activities and try to stay happy to keep infertility at bay.
Q: Do you think IVF is a stigma in Indian society?
Dr. Nutan: I don’t think IVF is a stigma in society. Rather, IVF is helping women to fight stigma in society. Since the time AIIMS has established the IVF center, lots of women from all over India visit the facility for treatment and have been benefitted by it. They are happy and hearty!
Q: Self-medication is catching up fast among women in India. What can be the complications?
Dr. Nutan: Normal self-medication for headache is fine. Now-a-days women have also started to take MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) kit without consulting a doctor. But there are many Ovulation Induction drugs, misuse of which can lead to the risk of ovarian cancer. Serious self-medication should be avoided by women.
Q: Dr. Nutan, how do you manage between the two roles of a doctor and a mother?
Dr. Nutan: Give all your mind and little heart to the profession, and all your heart and little mind to your children.
Please share a message for your patients and fellow doctors.
Dr. Nutan: Women should try to be independent. And to stay healthy, they should exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and keep their weight under check to avoid problems like PCOS and infertility. Female doctors should try to follow highest principles and standards while practicing the profession.