Giving life to dreams


Special fertility treatment procedure stimulates multiple ovarian follicles, facilitates egg cell retrieval

In the Philippines, one out of 10 Filipinos is suffering from infertility based on a Synovate survey conducted in 2011.

The World Health Organization defines infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”

Giving life to dreams 2“This condition is related to our socio-cultural practices, including the marrying age, educational status, and professional goals,” said Dr. Virgilio M. Novero, Jr., head of Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI) of St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City.

Dr. Novero added that a couple’s fertility can also be affected by issues in the female and male reproductive systems, as well as various medical conditions that can affect the quality of the egg and sperm cells.

But instead of giving up a couple’s dream of having and raising a baby together, there are modern and effective ways to address infertility.

“A couple can come in for a series of basic and ancillary tests to determine the root cause of their fertility issues, and we can help develop a treatment plan that will deliver their desired result: pregnancy,” said Dr. Novero.

The science of ART

One of the medical solutions that childless Filipino couples can explore is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), which is an umbrella term that refers to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and its variants.

ART is a special fertility treatment procedure that stimulates multiple ovarian follicles and facilitates egg cell retrieval. During the course of treatment, embryos will be formed outside of the female patient’s body—and once the “cultures” have formed successfully, they will be transferred to the patient’s uterus.

ART is recommended for patients suffering from blocked fallopian tubes, severe sperm deficits, unexplained infertility, mild endometriosis, and ovulation disorders, among others.

Giving life to dreams 3Though not unheard of for Filipinos, IVF is often seen as risky, needlessly expensive, exclusive to those who can get the procedure done abroad, and worse, ineffective.

Dr. Novero explained that ART has made significant improvement in efficiency over the years.

“In the past, doctors can only recommend IVF to a select few,” said Dr. Novero. “But in the recent years, technological advances, including new knowledge in hormonal treatment, improvement in video technology and other medical equipment, has boosted IVF’s efficiency.”

Dr. Novero mentioned that the success rate of the procedure has also recently seen a significant rise—today, over 6 million children are born all over the world after their parents have undergone an IVF procedure.

“Our success rates are now at 35 to 50 percent for pregnancy, and 20 to 25 percent for live births,” Dr. Novero said proudly.

However, the success rates depend on the patient’s profile, the competence of the medical staff, the quality and standards of the IVF lab, and of course the use of cutting-edge technology. Mylene C. Orillo

October 2016 Health and Lifestyle

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