Counselling crucial to address infertility

Myths surrounding conceivable age lay shattered, the need for counseling in addressing infertility stood underlined and the need to be positive while adopting children emphasized at a public seminar here on Sunday.

The seminar was part of a series of ‘Fertile Conversations’ held by The Times of India, along with Nova IVI Fertility, in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai to bring the topic of infertility into the mainstream.

The event brought experts and members of public under one forum.

Dr Pallavi Prasad, who spoke on the biological clock, said, “When people see celebrities having children in their 40s, they believe that anyone can have a child at 42 which isn’t exactly true. The number of eggs in a female body is fixed at birth and keeps declining with age, so by the time women are in their 40s, this reserve is close to running out.”

She said couples trying to conceive unsuccessfully should get themselves evaluated. “More importantly, if you do want to have children at an older age, then you should freeze your eggs before you are 38,” she said.

Speaking on successfully managing the fertility roller-coaster, Jeromi George, a counselor working with Nova, said, “When you need medical intervention for something that is seen as a natural process, then it becomes a stressful event, with the couple feeling a lot of negative emotions.”

Pointing out that partners occasionally blame each other and there is a lot of frustration that then leads to marital discord, he said, “Since the treatment is expensive, there is also a certain degree of financial strain. Counseling helps them deal with all of these issues, and manage their stress and anxiety during all stages of the treatment.”

Avinash Kumar, member of Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) steering committee, and founder of the Families of Joy Foundation – an NGO espousing the cause of adoption by engaging with all stakeholders, said, “There are 60 million destitute children in India, but only 4,000 adoptions take place, and in many cases it is seen as the last possible option by the parents.”

“Adoption, is not about ‘matching’ a child, but accepting a child. There is a myth that children should be adopted at a very young age, but that isn’t true as no child is too old to be adopted. More importantly, we should spread positivity about adoption, instead of acting as if it is something that should never be mentioned to the child in question,” Kumar added.