India is facing an infertility crisis. According to Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, infertility affects 10 to 14 percent of the Indian population.
While data remains limited, most doctors tell us infertility rates in urban areas have shot up, with some estimating one in every six couples could have infertility problems.
This prompted us, at FIT, to launch a campaign #LetsTalkFertility, where we invited readers to write to us and get all their fertility queries answered by top experts.
We have on board with us Dr Duru Shah (Director – Gynaecworld, Center for Assisted Reproduction and Women’s Health) and Dr Monika Wadhawan (Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gyneacology, Fortis Hospital Noida) to answer your queries. Here are their responses.
Write to us with more questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘I’m Not Able to Have a Baby, Doc Says Everything Is Fine’
My age is 28 and my husband is 35. We have been trying to have a baby since a year but no luck. Consulted doctor they said all is fine with me just keep trying they said and asked us to do intercourse every alternate days during my ovulation cycle. But the point is we are now more than 5 years of marriage and every alternate days is impossible for him, minimum once or twice can be possible. Please suggest if anything can be done. (NOTE: 4 years back I had 2 terminations.)
Dr Shah: Three things need to be tested for you and your husband – whether the semen is good, whether your tubes are open and working and whether you are ovulating.
Since you have had two terminations sometimes the tubes get blocked after pregnancy terminations due to infections.
That is why we will have to look at your tubes either by HSG (tube X-Ray) or laparoscopy. Besides, we need to know whether your weight is normal, periods are regular and hormones like thyroid, prolactin, ovarian hormones are within normal range. You should get these things checked out.
‘I Aborted My Pregnancy & My Period Changed, Will This Lead to Fertility Issues?’
Hi, I am a married woman of 25. Last year in May, I aborted my one-month pregnancy by pill. After that in June, I had periods with very heavy flow for 5 days (that was my regular period duration). But after that from July to September my period duration decreased from 5 to 4 with reduction in blood flow also. But now since October, it’s only 3 days with decreased flow. I just want to know that is it normal or should I be worried? Can I somehow get back my 5 day period? In the future will this 3-day cycle of mine create any fertility issues for me?
Dr Shah: The cycle/period changes can happen due to some surgery done on the womb, weight gain/drastic weight loss, infections, or due to hormonal disturbances like those seen in PCOS and thyroid disorders.
For knowing the exact reason, we need to do a pelvic sonography and blood tests for TSH, LH, FSH, E2 and Prolactin on second day of your period. When the test results are in, we will be in a better position to diagnose and treat your problem.
‘I Have PCOD & Trying to Get Pregnant, What Should I Do?’
Hi, I am 29 years old. I’ve been married for 6 years. I am actively trying for pregnancy. I have been receiving treatments for 4 years. My height is 156 cm and weight is 70 kg. This is after I lost 8 kg. Still the doctor has asked me to reduce 8 more kilos until I reach 62 kg. I also have PCOD. With irregular periods, I have periods once in 2 months. Please advise as to what I can do. Should I take the IUI treatment?
Dr Duru Shah: Irregular period and being overweight can cause difficulty in getting pregnant in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Weight loss of 6 kg which is close to 10% of your body weight should have helped you. But since you are still having irregular periods you may need ovulation induction with tablets or injections depending on the response of your body.
Ovulation induction helps the ovary to release the egg. The IUI treatment will help if it’s done in combination with the Ovulation Induction.
You also need to do some blood tests to make sure the hormone levels are normal and continue your efforts to lose some weight at the same time.
‘My Right Ovary Was Removed, What Are My Chances of Getting Pregnant?’
I am 24 years old. I’ve been married for a year now. RecentIy, I underwent laparoscopic surgery due to an ovarian cyst and my right ovary has been removed. I am having periods regularly and I don't have any health issues. May I know the chances of getting pregnant now?
Dr Duru Shah: In majority of cases, the remaining ovary still ovulates and releases eggs for fertilisation.
Pregnancy is possible as long as the fallopian tube on the same side is normal and there is no other underlying fertility related issues.
Having a single ovary halves the number of eggs you have to assist you in getting pregnant.
Younger women have more follicles per ovary and better quality of eggs. Keeping this in mind you have a good chance of pregnancy. I would recommend you to try for a pregnancy early and not delay and if you wish to do so, see a fertility specialist to know about your ovarian reserve. In case you want to delay the pregnancy then you should consider the option of freezing your eggs.
‘How Many Times Should We Have Sex in the Fertile Window?’
The days of my menstrual cycle vary. In the last 6 months, my cycle length varied from 25 to 32 days. In that case what should be my fertile window? I read somewhere that it should be 10th to 18th day of the menstruation cycle.
Dr Wadhawan: Counting from day one of your menstruation circle, from the 10th day onwards try on every alternate day rather than every day.
How frequent the intercourse should be during the fertile window? I read somewhere that daily intercourse in the fertile window increases the probability of pregnancy. I also read that intercourse every day decreases the sperm count and quality so intercourse should be every alternate day during the fertile window.
Dr Wadhawan: It's not necessary to have intercourse on a daily basis. You should instead try it on alternate day from the 10th day of the starting of your cycle.
Also, I face vaginal dryness to combat that I use lubricant. Does that hinder in pregnancy?
Dr Wadhawan: No, neither the lubricant nor the dryness will cause any problems in conception. Dryness, however, can cause discomfort to both partners during intercourse.