‘There is a lot of social stigma surrounding medical intervention for infertility’

Updated on Jun 11, 2020 10:48 AM IST

The blame of not being able to bear a child is still on the women, who are harassed mentally and physically while men hesitate to come to the clinic for the fear of being tested.

Dr. Pratibha Makhija
Dr. Pratibha Makhija
ByPromotional Feature, HT Brand Studio

Dear couples,

Science has advanced leaps and bounds making biological babies a possibility even for infertile couples. Sadly, there is still a lot of social stigma surrounding medical intervention in our country. Owing to this, the treatments surrounding infertility become challenging for many, who hesitate to get timely medical help.

The blame of not being able to bear a child is still on the women, who are harassed mentally and physically while men hesitate to come to the clinic for the fear of being tested. I remember a case where a couple came to us to have the wife tested for infertility. Interestingly, she was the man’s third wife – the first two were also unable to get pregnant – but he was adamant that the problem was with his wife.

Upon investigation, his sperm count was found to be nil in the semen analysis. Shouldn’t he have got himself checked first instead of getting married again and again? This does not mean all men are like him. There is a gradual change being observed as more men are getting themselves checked for infertility. But we have a long way to go!

It is common to see couples from affluent backgrounds ‘disappear’ from doctor clinics in advanced stages of pregnancy. They hide their In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) files, sometimes even destroy them, and get themselves admitted to private hospitals after reaching 37-38 weeks of pregnancy. They don’t want their immediate family, including parents and siblings, to know that they baby was conceived through IVF.

Often scared of the reaction of relatives, friends and society at large, couples delay going to see the doctor and end up losing valuable time. Even those who come in want complete confidentiality, which we respect. Fertility treatment can be an extremely stressful and emotional experience and our clinics are equipped with right professionals like counsellors who help couples though this journey.

The biggest stigma surrounding IVF is the common perception that the child born out of this process is ‘it is someone else’s and not our own’. We hold regular camps and even offer free consultations from time to time to clear this misconception and make people aware of the benefits of fertility treatments. In a majority of cases, the egg and sperm are both taken from the couple. The embryo is created in a lab and planted back into the woman’s uterus. Genetically, the child is 100 per cent theirs! It’s just been created in a lab.

It is important to understand that seeking medical help to bear a child is not something to hide or be ashamed of. Just like other medical condition in a human body, infertility can be treated with timely intervention. You just need to come out, raise the red flag and consult a good physician!

Yours truly,

Dr. Pratibha Makhija

Dr. Makhija is Consultant in Assisted Reproduction, Gynae Laproscopic Surgeon and High-risk Pregnancy Obstetrician at Makhija Test Tube Baby Center and Maternity Hospital, Bilaspur.

You can also read more about IVF, fertility and related issues by visiting our site or clicking www.parentsoffertility.com

DISCLAIMER : This document is for general reference only and for the viewers in India only. The data is based on blog writer’s / participants’ opinions which do not necessarily reflect the views, ideas and policies of Merck and Merck makes no representations of any kind about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. It may refer to pharmaceutical products, diagnostic techniques, therapeutics or indications not yet registered or approved in a given country and it should be noted that, over time, currency and completeness of the data may change. For updated information, please contact the Company. This data should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition without the professional advice of a Registered Medical Practitioner, and does not replace medical advice or a thorough medical examination. Registered Medical Practitioners should use their independent professional judgement in checking the symptoms, diagnosing & suggesting the appropriate line of treatment for patients. Merck is not in any way influencing, propagating or inducing anyone to buy or use Merck products. Merck accepts no liability for any loss, damage or compensation claims in connection with any act or omission by anyone based on information contained in or derived through use of this document.

For more information write to Merck Specialites Private Limited, Godrej One, 8th floor, Pirojshah Nagar, Eastern Express Highway, Vikhroli (E), Mumbai 400079, India

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