Dr. Partha’s Bio: Dr. Partha Sarathi Das, Deputy Medical Director, Consultant Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility from team Orchid Fertility Clinic gives detailed insights into the issues and treatment of female infertility. Dr. Das obtained his Master’s in Assisted Reproduction, Embryology, and Genetics from IVI, Valencia, Spain, and further advanced his skill sets in Reproductive Medicine in USA and Germany and from Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, India. He also has sub-specialty training in Reproductive Medicine, Endocrinology, and Infertility / IVF from the prestigious University of Kiel in Germany and was also a visiting fellow in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of IOWA, USA. Dr. Das has around 19 years of experience dealing with complex Infertility, Genetic and Gynecological cases, and has helped many couples achieve parenthood with great success. His special areas of interest are recurrent implantation failure and recurrent pregnancy loss, PCOS, Oncofertility, and diminished ovarian reserve.
1. Are there special concerns for pregnancies achieved through infertility treatment?
Infertility treatment involves IVF or artificial insemination to help couples achieve parenthood at the earliest. Pregnancy achieved through fertility treatment are safe and similar to somebody who has become pregnant naturally. It is only up to the first trimester that hormonal support is advised to increase the chances of implantation and also prevent miscarriage.
2. Can stress or anxiety disorders also be a cause of infertility?
Infertility itself can lead to stress and anxiety disorders while also resulting in infertility issues. Counseling forms an important part of therapy in these couples and we usually suggest a meeting with the therapist to understand your psychological wellbeing and concerns if needed medications can also be advised to reduce anxiety.
3. What tests are involved in the evaluation of infertility in women?
Female infertility evaluation involves a pelvic transvaginal scan to check antral follicle count which is one of the markers of ovarian reserve as well as to note the normality of the uterus and absence of any cysts.
Tubal patency tests are conducted to check if fallopian tubes are open or blocked. This is done either by hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or HyFoSy between days 7-9 of the menstrual cycle.
Hormonal blood profile to check for thyroid, glucose, vitamin D, prolactin, as well as AMH for ovarian reserve.
4. Is there any particular vitamin or generic food that women trying to conceive boost their intake of?
Women planning for fertility treatment or pregnancy should be on regular prenatal which have an adequate dose of multivitamins and folic acid, Vitamin D supplementation, and antioxidants like CO enzyme Q 10 and Omega 3. The meal should be a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, and protein and adequate hydration.
5. I am 41 years old with irregular period cycles, I had a baby in my late twenties but after that, I was unable to conceive again, will IVF be a safe option at this age?
The best predictor for a successful outcome is maternal age. The higher the maternal age the lesser the chances of pregnancy. So at an age of 40 years if your baseline follicle count and AMH is reassuring then IVF would be a better option to maximize the chance of pregnancy.
6. What is the upper age limit to undergo IVF through donor eggs?
The chances of successful fertility outcomes decrease after 40-42 years of age. So the earlier one plans the better the outcome.
7. If I choose IVF can I get to know the gender of the embryo before being transferred to the womb?
IVF with PGS which stands for preimplantation genetic screening of embryos is a technique to screen the embryos of all chromosomal abnormalities including X and Y. So yes, the gender of the embryo can be known before transferring back to the uterus.
8. I am 34 and married for 2 years now, how long should I try to conceive naturally before consulting a doctor? Any specific advice which can help me conceive naturally.
If you are less than 35 years and still not able to get pregnant after 1 year of unprotected intercourse then you need to see your fertility doctor for an evaluation and check, who will advise you on the proper fertility treatment. Understanding the normal physiology, and safe and unsafe periods in a menstrual cycle will help in timing intercourse during the ovulation phase.
9. Are there risks involved in assisted reproductive technologies to the child’s overall growth?
Assisted reproductive procedures like IVF or IUI have proven safe for both mother and baby.
10. I’m 26 and have been married for a year now, from some time I am having irregular painful periods, and I have PCOS too. Is it a concern for my future family planning in the coming years?
PCOS causes ovulation disorder and is one of the main reasons for infertility. You need to consult your fertility doctor to regulate your hormones and ensure regular ovulatory cycles and also minimize future complications like diabetes and other metabolic syndrome associated with PCOS.