Getting pregnant is one of the dreams of every couple as they want to build a family of their own. While some couples are blessed to have their little bundle of joys after several years of trying, unfortunately, some of them are not as lucky as the others to be blessed with even one baby no matter how hard they try.
My recently married sister, Kiss, is now on her way to getting pregnant, so she is also attending events about infertility and how to get pregnant successfully. So when she got the chance to attend the “Give Life to Dreams” event organized by Merck Philippines, she gladly “graced” the occasion.
Merck Philippines is staying true to its legacy of its continuous advocacy on fertility awareness. This project is organized in line with the St. Luke’s fifth year of flagship Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI).
On September 8, 2016, Merck Philippines, the local arm of the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company, joined forces with St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City for a public information project that promotes awareness on infertility, as well as the different medical solutions that can give life to the dreams of Filipino couples. Infertility, according to the World Health Organization, is defined 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.”
According to Dr. Virgilio M. Novero, Jr, Head of Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine & Infertility (CARMI), St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, as of a Synovate survey they conducted in 2011, they found out that one out of ten Filipinos are suffering from infertility. Their survey also concluded that infertility is related to a person’s socio-cultural practices, including the marrying age, educational status, and professional goals. He also 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.
Dr. Novero explained that “Instead of just giving up their dreams of having a child, there are modern and effective ways to address infertility,” as “the 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.”
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. This special fertility treatment procedure 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.
“Our success rates are now at 35 to 50 percent for pregnancy, and 20 to 25 percent for live births,” Dr. Novero said proudly. “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. At CARMI, our patients can be assured that we have a team of highly trained and experienced medical staff, a state-of-the-art IVF lab, and modern technology that can increase the success rate of pregnancy and live birth.”
“With the help of Filipino doctors and specialty groups, Merck has been able to propagate more information on infertility,” said Dess Cartaño, Senior Product Manager for Fertility, Merck Philippines. “At this point, we want to provide fertility-challenged couples with actual, effective, and efficient solutions that will give life to their dreams of a family once more.”
To know more about infertility and IVF in the Philippines, Merck Philippines will be holding a seminar on the science and possibilities of IVF on September 24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas.