Understanding PCOD and How it Poses Threat to Fertility in Women

Motherhood completes every woman. However, not every woman is blessed with motherhood. The dark clouds of infertility can steal away happiness from their lives making life miserable and literally, unbearable. Infertility doesn’t occur in a single day. It creeps in slowly. Women can suffer from fertility related issues from a very early age which if left undetected and untreated can lead to infertility during their adult age. One such, slow ‘fertility killer’ is Polycystic Ovary Disease, commonly referred to as PCOD/ PCOS.

What Causes PCOD?

During menstrual cycle, even a little higher than normal levels of androgen in women can restrict the ovaries from releasing eggs. This can cause additional hair growth and acne which are the two most common physical signs of PCOD. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the process of converting food into energy. High levels of insulin can also result into polycystic ovary disease in females.

Is PCOD Genetic?

Although the actual cause of PCOD is yet to be known but according to some medical evidences there is a definite genetic connection to this disorder. Not all women having ‘polycystic appearing ovaries’ will have PCOD.

What ‘Lifestyle-Changes’ Can Prevent PCOD?

  • Stay away from processed and refined food
  • Drink at least 2-3 litres of purified water daily
  • Always follow a combination diet plan by including lean protein and complex carbohydrates in your meals
  • Eat every 3 to 4 hours
  • Avoid taking refined sugar
  • Avoid alcohol consumptions

Are PCOD and AMH Correlated? – Notes From The Scientific Community

AMH expanded as anti-mullerian hormone is a sensitive producer of ovarian reserve. The hormone gets released by the cells across the follicles present in the ovary. AMH is said to decrease with age and may be considered as the significant reason behind the aging of ovaries. According to researches, it has been found that AMH level starts decreasing earlier in life even before other markers of ovarian aging such as FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone starts to decrease. (more…)

Take Off the Shame Out Of the Stain – Menstrual Hygiene Matters

“Education about menstruation changes everything”

We all are aware of menstruation- a biological process of female reproductive cycle. However, there’re societies that still considers it as a social taboo and a secretive topic that shouldn’t be discussed openly.

Lack of knowledge about menstrual health creates this kind of mind-set and risks female hygiene increasing chances of vaginal infections. To spread the awareness and bring the change, menstrual hygiene day is observed every year on May 28. This year too saw widespread participation and awareness campaigns all over the globe, promoting the necessity of awareness among women and the society at large on ‘menstruation’, its biological and social significance.

Genome The Fertility Centre supports the cause of raising awareness among the masses on the importance of menstrual health and hygiene. Below, we have listed few reasons depicting the importance of menstrual hygiene.

  • Education on menstruation increases self-esteem, raises wages and raises grades
  • Knowledge about menstruation acts as woman empowerment which helps them to take care of themselves in various ways. A girl who knows that her period is about to come every month gives her a sense of responsibility to take care of her body unlike a girl who is completely unaware of it

(more…)

10 Super Foods to Boost Fertility in Women Undergoing IVF

A healthy diet is always essential for a woman since God has chosen her to bear and nurture the most precious life inside her- ‘A Child’. According to a research on fertility diet by Harvard Medical School, intake of certain foods can improve ovulation without medical interference. Get to know about the best diet changes that will help to boost fertility while you’re undergoing IVF.

According to a scientific study published in the journal ‘Human Reproduction’, females undergoing In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) if found vitamin D deficient may have lesser chances of getting pregnant. Thus, having a vitamin enriched diet plan makes your immune system and hormones function properly thereby increasing your chances of getting successful pregnancy through IVF.

1. Drink Carrot Juice

Although fish and eggs have Vitamin D in them but carrot is a healthier option. Being an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins – D, C, K, E, B1 and B6, carrot juice can help your body get the right nutrients and enzymes required for fertility. Carrots help boost immunity thereby making your body strong enough to resist diseases. It helps improve the muscle, skin and flesh of the unborn during pregnancy. Not just this, carrots are found excellent in controlling blood sugar levels. Thus consuming it can reduce the chances of diabetes which is essential for a fertile and healthy life. Carrots have also been attributed for decreasing the chances of jaundice in the developing foetus.

2. Believe in Broccoli

Broccoli can be eaten either raw or steamed. This excellent vegetable contains compounds that help your body get rid of excess estrogen for a healthy pregnancy. High in Vitamin C this wonder veggie aids the ovaries in releasing healthy eggs and hence ensure proper ovulation. Broccoli also contains the highest amount of calcium that helps in maintaining the alkalinity of the reproductive tract, ensuring smoother passage for the sperms.

3. Consume Complex Carbs

Studies have found that a higher level of insulin obstructs ovulation. Bad carbs such as cakes, white rice, cookies and wheat flour get digested quickly into blood sugar. In order to maintain the blood sugar level, pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. On the contrary, good carbs present in fruits, fibre, beans, green vegetables and whole grains get digested gradually and hence have a slower effect on blood sugar and insulin.

4. Say ‘NO’ to Trans Fats & ‘YES’ to Unsaturated Fats

As already discussed, high insulin levels leads to metabolic disturbances which affect ovulation. Trans-fats primarily found in foods like snacks, junk foods and animal products tends to restrict insulin in moving glucose from blood to cells. In order to balance this condition, pancreas keeps on pumping more insulin which in turn raises the level of insulin in the body. So cut down trans-fats from your diet and intake unsaturated fats, found mostly in – olive oil, salmon, almonds, peanut butter and avocados. (more…)

Learn to Predict Ovulation – Your most Fertile Days for Pregnancy

Fertility is mankind’s blessing to continue nature’s process of breeding, nurturing and raising new lives. However, if it is such that infertility has made your life lonely, we are glad to inform you that successful childbirth is just a step away! Through Assisted Reproductive Technology procedures such as IVF, IUI, ICSI, surrogacy and much more, our reproductive medicine specialists are enhancing the chances of successful childbirth and has already delivered hope and possibilities to over 20,000+ happy couples over the last 11 years.

Read on to know what our Infertility Specialists have to say about ovulation (the most fertile days for pregnancy) and the process of predicting its occurrence.

  • WHAT DOES OVULATION MEAN?

Ovulation is a process when the egg released by your ovary gets fertilized by a sperm followed by uterine implantation and the good news is that, you are pregnant!

  • KNOW YOUR DAYS

You are potentially considered fertile at the day of ovulation and five days before ovulation. This generally takes place 12 to 16 days before your menstrual period i.e. somewhere between the 10th and 17th day.

However, pregnancy or conception is likely to happen if you plan intercourse with your partner among these five days before ovulation and 24 hours after ovulation. This is simply because the lifespan of sperm inside a woman’s body is 5 days while an ovum stays active only for 12-24 hours.

Although there’s no accurate way of predicting the time of ovulation but you can estimate its occurrence and plan accordingly to boost your chances of getting pregnant.

  • FOLLOW THE CALENDAR METHOD

If your menstrual cycle is regular every month, you can try out the calendar method. To predict your day of ovulation, you need to count 14 days preceding your next expected period.

Since your fertile window covers the day of your ovulation along with the five days preceding it, you need to plan intercourse in this period. For example, if day 1 is the first day of your menstruation and day 28 is the when you expect your next period, your fertility window will include days 10 to 15.

Although not accurate but this is the easiest method to predict your fertile days and plan pregnancy with respect to it. Thus, it’s easy, safe, and is worth a try especially for couples who are not in a hurry to conceive. (more…)

GENOME’s CME on ‘Fertility Preservation in Cancer Patients’

Reproduction is the art of nature in which life is the new colour.

No one wants to get deprived of such a beautiful phase of life.

Cancer or to be more specific cancer treatments can affect the delicate process of reproduction and hence reduce the chances of successful childbirth. While there are different types of cancer treatments, their effects are variable. Here are some common infertility problems seen among men and women who have got a medical history with cancer.

  • Chemotherapy drugs can cause egg damage thereby risking fertility in females
  • Cancer patients should avoid getting pregnant during the treatment tenure of cancer as it can disturb foetus development and cause birth defects
  • In males, cancer can cause damage to endocrine glands thereby reducing the body’s ability to make new sperms, decrease or even stop the production of semen

According to The National Cancer Registry, the annual number of patients who develop cancer in India is set to rise from about 9.79 lakh in 2010 to 11.4 lakh in 2020. And a staggering 30-75% males and 40-80% females will possibly face infertility as a result of their chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Amidst all such risks and negative impacts of cancer, medical researchers have come up with new hopes on preserving fertility in cancer patients.

While the focus is not only extending life but also improving the quality of life in cancer patients, Genome conducted a CME on the topic ‘Fertility Preservation in Cancer Patients‘ at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre & Research Institute in Thakurpukur, Kolkata on 20th April 2017.

The team from GENOME including Dr. Kausiki Ray (MBBS DGO DNB Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, Israel), Dr. Indranil Saha (MBBS MD Obs & Gyn MRCOG, UK) and Ms. Atreyee Chatterjee (MSc, Chief Embryologist, Genome The Fertility Centre) joined our CME. Dr. Bimal Chakraborty and Dr. N.R. Mondal were the chairpersons of the CME. Dr. Arnab Gupta the Director of Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre & Research Institute was among the dignitaries present.  (more…)

Depression & Infertility- Symbiotic Sisters Obstructing Pregnancy

Infertility & depression are symbiotic and often go together. We have come across different cases of depression during pregnancy & post pregnancy which are very more common amongst women with a history of infertility treatment. However, many of you may not know that women who experience depression can also be the prey of infertility.

It is absolutely natural to feel sad or depressed while dealing with infertility. Any woman facing it might hit with the blues when her period comes, when her fertility test shows a negative report, when fertility treatments fail or when her friends have their second child. Women who are unable to bear child often feel incomplete from inside and the pressure from their family and society, lead to acute depression & isolation.

In our country where family status especially childbearing is considered overly important and valuable to stabilize the family and increases marital satisfaction which otherwise results in marital problems such as divorce or even second marriage, making the situation worst for women with infertile issues.

Depression Causes Infertility

Though, it is yet to be proved that depression is directly associated with infertility, but some researchers from Central Asia & USA have found a correlation between depression and increased rate of infertility. Depression interferes with the process of conception. During this period, you should try to stay relaxed, happy and tension free. Depression affects the functioning of the hypothalamus, a gland in the brain that regulates your feelings or emotions & appetite, as well as the hormones that dictate your ovaries to release eggs. If you’re depressed, you may ovulate later in your cycle or not at all. Therefore, if you’re having sexual intercourse around the 14th day, thinking that you’re about to ovulate, you may miss your opportunity to conceive. (more…)

Endometriosis Awareness Is the First Step to Cure

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Global Statistics indicates that between 2-10% women in their reproductive age gets afflicted with Endometriosis. In terms of severity, endometriosis renders 30-40 % of all affected women- infertile, making it one of the most common causes of female infertility. Thus, it has become necessity today that women should be seeking the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of endometriosis at the earliest hint of any symptom. The first and foremost thing to do in such a condition is to talk to parents, siblings and close friends and then obviously taking it forward by seeking consultation from a gynecologist or a reproductive medicine specialist. At Genome – The Fertility Centre we support the global pledge to raise awareness on Endometriosis. We wish to address everyone about endometriosis – what is it, how it is caused, what are the different stages of this disease, symptoms, treatment, and so on. Read on to learn more on Endometriosis and feel free to share the post in your social circle to help raise awareness about this disease.

Endometriosis – Definition

Endometriosis is a female disease in which the tissue that forms the lining of uterus, endometrium, grows outside of the uterine cavity. These endometriosis implants forms the lining of the abdomen and pelvis, causing infections that may spread to the inner lining of the area between vagina and rectum, causing severe pain & infertility. Moreover, these implants might develop scar tissue and form cysts which in rare cases may even turn into cancer.

Endometriosis – How It Is Caused

The hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle affect the endometrial tissue. The tissue tends to grow, thicken and eventually breaks down and over a period of time these broken down tissues gets deposited in the pelvic organs and causes irritation, scar formation, adhesions which results in severe pain during menstrual periods & may even raise fertility issues. In a word, endometriosis is one of the main causes of infertility in women and carries a huge personal and societal burden for the sufferer. It is high time to raise awareness of the disease that affects women in their most productive years. But one thing all women must know that endometriosis is a common gynecological condition usually affects women between 25 & 40 years of age and you’re obviously not alone if you’re diagnosed with this disorder. Endometriosis has affected an estimated 176 million women worldwide. Learning and spreading awareness about this disease is the first step to its cure. (more…)

6 Tips for Women to Cope with Infertility Challenges

Motherhood brings completeness to a woman’s life. Even women who don’t necessarily want to become mothers are often affected by society’s expectations to become a mother. The pressure to find an ideal partner and raise a family can be enormous, and women who are unable to or choose not to, can be made to feel alienated as though something must be deeply wrong with them. In India, be it from urban to rural societies, a girl child is raised with the assumption that they’ll become mothers someday and bring joy to their families.

From baby dolls to baby showers, girls and women are influenced by images and expectations from parents, in-laws, peers, religion, advertising and the media almost subconsciously pushing them for motherhood. Thus, once a woman is diagnosed with infertility or fertility-related problems, which pose a barrier in the way of their motherhood, stress and even psychological symptoms creep in. These factors can take a toll on her mental and physical health, causing further challenges to fertility treatment and outcomes. Stress can hinder fertility in both men and women.

Furthermore, there is some evidence that extreme stress may negatively affect outcomes of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) in some individuals. GENOME helps in enabling couples to cope with stress due to infertility. Managing stress through reproductive counselling is in fact an indispensable aspect of GENOME’s treatment at all its Fertility Centre units spread across Eastern and Central India.

In this article our specialists have offered 6 tips to help women struggling with infertility challenges cope with their situation in a better way.

  • Acknowledging Is the Key to Coping with Infertility 

Due to the age-old perceptions prevailing in the society regarding infertility being mostly a female problem, it is often women who receive brick bats for not being able to conceive. However, today it is a known fact that men are equally responsible for infertility among couples. Woman facing infertility challenges should realize that it’s normal to feel sad and grief. It’s absolutely fine of the woman to take time to cry or express her feelings. (more…)

Genome’s Participation at ISAR Bengal Conference & Workshop – A Report

This year GENOME is celebrating 11 years of catering successful fertility services. Our Mission, since day one, has been “supporting and facilitating the process of conception through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) for couples facing fertility-related issues and also in furthering the cause of fertility services by way of implementing extensive Research, Training and Development exercises in this field.” At GENOME, we actively participate in Fertility Congresses, Exhibitions and Workshops all over India, all around the year.

The month of February 2017 was special to us! We have been honoured to be an associate in organizing the 4th Annual Conference of ISAR (Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction), Bengal. This year’s conference was organized at The Bengal Club, Kolkata, from 10th February to 12th February. The 3-day mega event consisted of –Pre-Congress Workshop on Day 1 while the Main Congress  spanned Day 2 and Day 3, both.

The Pre-Congress Workshop kicked off on the 10th Feb with IVF Workshop conducted by GENOME -The Fertility Centre. The workshop was hosted by GENOME consultants Dr. Anuradha Sarkhel and Dr. Rutvij Dalal. While the clinical session was conducted by our revered reproductive consultants – Dr.Aindri Sanyal on ‘USG guided Egg collection technique’, Dr. Kausiki Ray on ‘USG guided embryo transfer’, Dr. Shefali Bansal Madhav on ‘Patient selection and pre-IVF investigations’ and Dr. Prasenjit Roy on ‘Stimulation protocol’. The clinical session was followed by actual video demonstration of OPU and ET.  The Embryology session of the workshop was conducted by our chief embryologist Ms. Atreyee Chatterjee on the topic ‘the IVF ICSI procedure – Present & Beyond’. As part of the workshop – the actual video demonstration of IVF-ICSI in the Embryology lab of GENOME as well as semen preparation for IVF at the Andrology lab of GENOME were shown to the attendees and received praises from the audience. Both sessions of the workshop was followed by Q&A sessions where our specialists answered the queries of the audience. GENOME’s IVF-ICSI Workshop at ISAR Bengal conference was highly appreciated by the attending dignitaries from the medical fraternity. Also other workshops on Ultrasound and Endoscopic surgery were organised as part of the Pre-Congress workshop .

The theme of the Main Congress for Day 2 and Day 3 (11 & 12 Feb) respectively was entitled “An International CME on Reproductive Health”, and rightly so, this year the conference saw the attendance of some of the most renowned dignitaries of international fame, in the field of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) at the ISAR Bengal Conference. For the first time, an international level conference of such stature was organised in Kolkata, attended by luminaries in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology like- Prof. Dr. Paul Devroey – The Pioneer of ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)  in the World from Belgium, Dr. Foad Azem – The World Famous Expert of fertility preservation from Israel, Prof. Dr. Baidyanath Chakravarty – one of the Pioneers of IVF in India, Prof. Dr. Abha Majumdar – one of the foremost practitioners of IVF in India, among several other renowned reproductive medicine specialists who attended the conference. (more…)

How Does The Egg Donation Process Work?

In an egg donation process, an oocyte, commonly known as an egg, is removed from a fertile woman. This egg is then donated to another woman so that she is able to conceive. Egg donation is part of what is known as Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Typically, donated eggs are fertilized in a lab with the sperm of the intending father, after which the resulting embryos are prepared through a procedure like IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) or ICSI and are transferred into the uterus of the recipient either intending mother or surrogate. In other cases, all or some of the embryos may also be frozen for future use.

Steps for Egg Donation Process

There are steps that need to be undertaken in the process of egg donation to ensure that you are qualified to donate your eggs.

Phase 1 of Donor Qualification – Initial Screening: If you are a first time donor or have donated before, but not cycled for some time, an initial screening visit to the infertility specialist will be scheduled. If the fertility Centre is located in another area and you need to travel for the cycle, some of your pre-testing visits may be done at a local fertility clinic that your infertility consultant will find for you. Protocol differs with each doctor, but typically, the standard testing order includes the following:

  • Your blood will be drawn for hormone tests on the second or third day of your menstrual cycle and it may be necessary for you to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound.

  • If you get optimal hormone test results, you will need to undergo a psychological screening, which will take about 3 to 4 hours.

Phase 2 of Donor Qualification – Medical Screening Process: If you get optimal pre-testing results and have cleared your psychological screening, you will meet the cycling doctor for the first time so that their own genetic and medical screening can be conducted. (more…)