Jul 26, 2016 News
-Specialist addresses concerns linked to conception
With a focus on bringing to the Guyanese populace a wide array of medical services, the Dr. Balwant Singh Hospital has been continuously striving to improve its delivery of health care. Aside from the many intricate heart care and other life saving procedures that it offers, among its most outstanding offerings to date is that of In-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
This process, which is intended to help improve a woman’s chance of conception, is where an egg is fertilised by sperm outside of the woman’s body in a controlled environment and then implanted in the uterus.
Medical Director of the facility, Dr. Madhu Singh, is the key player behind IVF at the privately operated hospital situated at East Street, Georgetown. The IVF programme there was introduced in 2014.
Dr. Singh specialises in the area of Gynaecology and therefore has a passion for rendering care to women throughout their pregnancies. She, moreover, is also dedicated to helping those women who find it hard to become.
Dr. Singh has already offered IVF to several local couples with success. According to the Medical Director the success rate she has realised is on par with what obtains globally. The global success rate, she intimated, is stuck between 20 to 30 per cent.
This state of affairs, Dr. Singh said, is linked to the fact that over 90 per cent of women seeking IVF are in fact over the age of 35.
She said that many women, particularly in Guyana, are not sensitised enough to know at what stage they must seek IVF. “They don’t understand that a woman’s age is the single most important factor in predicting how fertile she is,” asserted Dr. Singh. “Although other Gynaecologists are aware that there is a facility offering IVF they do not tell patients it is time you seek advanced fertility care.”
“They would keep on treating them with clomiphene (ovulation stimulant) and multiple cycles,” said Dr. Singh as she observed that “there are a lot of unscrupulous ones (doctors) here who also do D&C (dilation and curettage) on a patient and do damage to the patient.”
“A D&C does not help,” she warned. A D&C is essentially a ‘clean out’ of the uterus and, according to Dr. Singh, this process does not help any woman to get pregnant since it causes damage to the lining of the womb.
“A woman must never agree to do a D&C if a doctor tells her that is going to help her to conceive; it is not, it is only going to reduce her chance of conception,” asserted Dr. Singh. However, a D&C is a recommended procedure for women who would have suffered a miscarriage.
“If you’ve had a miscarriage that is the only way you should agree to do a D&C….but even if you have had a miscarriage, not all women who had a miscarriage need a D&C and not all women know this,” Dr. Singh stressed.
She revealed that before such a procedure is conducted following a miscarriage, an ultrasound should first be done to ascertain if there are any clots or products left in the uterus. However, if the woman has experienced a complete miscarriage then a D&C is not required.
“Every time you do a D&C the lining of the uterus gets damaged. The endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus which is a very delicate structure, has to allow the egg to grow in it and that is not going to happen if you have a damaged endometrium…,” explained Dr. Singh.
According to her, “These people (doctors) who are trying to treat infertility are producing more infertility by doing this ‘clean out’ for women.”
Women, Dr. Singh emphasised, need to be aware that each time they experience a menstrual cycle their womb essentially cleans itself out. “It is not like a bathroom floor that you have to scrub to get clean.”
In reiterating that age is of utmost importance in conception, Dr. Singh related that if a woman has been trying to conceive for more than one year she is usually considered infertile. “If you had unprotected sex for more than one year (and do not get pregnant) you have a problem and you need to seek attention,” said the informed Gynaecologist.
She also underscored that if a woman has tried conventional methods of infertility treatment for more than six months without success she should seek advanced care.
“When you come to me when you are 40 (or older) there is little that even I can do…There is little that can be done even with IVF if you are 40. When a woman comes to me when she is 40 then I have to tell her we’ll have to use donor eggs.” The ideal donor of the eggs for this process is a woman in her 20s who has had at least one child and may be related to the woman desirous of becoming pregnant but not related to the man.
The combination of the donor eggs and the man’s sperm will help to create an embryo which could then be transferred to the woman who wants to become pregnant. “That is becoming more and more common, not just around the world, but also in Guyana.
“A lot of women after 40, they don’t really have a choice. If they want to have a baby, they have to use donor eggs because the quality of their eggs becomes so poor that it is not going to work…Even IVF is not going to work for them,” related Dr. Singh
As such she advised that women should seek help earlier once they suspect that they are having infertility issues. This is in light of the fact, Dr. Singh said, that the younger women are the higher the IVF success rate is likely to be.
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