Infertility is a huge issue when it comes to marital relationships. Sadly, for some couples, it had even become a deal-breaker. According to a Synovate survey in 2011, 1 out of 10 Filipinos are suffering from infertility which means there can be a lot of couples undergoing this challenge. But from our observation, the problem is not very obvious and there aren’t so many publicly funded activities that help couples or individuals who are dealing with infertility problems. Most Filipino couples may have chosen to be silent and find options by themselves or worse, just accepted that their dream will remain to be a dream forever.
But is it really the end of the road for childless couples who are dealing with infertility problems?
Merck Philippines doesn’t say so. And that’s why for 5 years, they had been keeping on spreading awareness about infertility and and In-Vitro Fertilization or IVF. In their campaign this year named “Bridging Baby Steps”, Merck Philippines held a one-day seminar filled with information for the benefit of everyone. The event was opened to the public with flowing food and drinks included.
“Bridging Baby Steps” was held last October 21 in Shangri-la Plaza. The room was filled with couples, families and members of the media and blogging community. Three important topics were tackled during the event : Common Misconceptions on Infertility by Dr. Almeda, Egg Freezing by Dr. Gia Pastorfide and Treatment Options for Infertility by Dr. Anthony Ancheta. These topics shed light to most common questions asked by many about infertility.
A short video clip of Dr. Ancheta’s segment : Treatment Options for Infertility
- Infertility occurs in about 9% of married couples
- Factors affecting treatment include age, weight, smoking and toxic agents.
- Women has a biological clock and the older they get, the lesser the chances of success of ART (artificial reproductive treatment)
- Men’s semen quantity and quality decreases by age.
- Artificial Reproductive Treatment will not be able to reverse the effects of aging.
- IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is the medical process where the male sperm and the female egg are combined outside the mother’s womb. The resulting embryo is then planted to the mother’s womb.
- The most important causes of infertility are ovarian and testicular aging.
- To counteract the biological clock of women, they can choose to undergo egg freezing which is a medical process wherein healthy eggs of a woman will be extracted, frozen and stored. These eggs can be thawed at a later time when the woman already wish to get pregnant.
- The best age to undergo egg freezing for women is 35 years old and below.
- There are 3 treatment options for couples who have infertility problems : a. timed intercourse b. intrauterine insemination c. In Vitro Fertilization. IVF has the highest chance of getting pregnant given the woman is 35 years old below.
- The first step for couples considering Artificial Reproductive Treatment is to go to a Infertility Specialist certified by the Philippine Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Inc.
Top Fertility Myths
- Spicy food will induce fertility.
- Having sex in the morning will increase fertility.
- A man’s testicles should be cool if you want a daughter and warm if you want a son
- The most fertile day of a woman is on the day she ovulates. (contrary: sperm can live within the reproductive tract for 3 days)
- Eating yams will help a couple conceive twins.
- Gulping cough syrup can help couples conceive.
- Special diets can boost a couple’s chance of getting pregnant.
- Doing a headstand will help the sperm find its way faster to the egg.
- The size of man’s organ determines his fertility.
IVF Centers in the Philippines
- In Vitro Fertilization, Davao Inc.
- Center for Reproductive Medicine (CRM)
- Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI)
- Kato Repro Biotech Center
- Repro Optima
- Victory ART Lab Philippines