Fertility Centers bringing the Open Mindedness in Gender Inclusivity

"The medical profession has risen to the occasion to become better and better"-: Dr.Vasundhara Kamineni Medical Director at Kamineni Fertility Centre and Professor & Head of Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Kamineni Academy of Medical Sciences and Research Centre.

With over a decade of unparalleled experience, her special interests include cervical cancer screening, laparoscopy surgery, and management of high-risk pregnancy. She has extensive experience in general obstetrics and gynaecology, infertility, and laparoscopic surgery and has professional experience with St. Thomas' Hospital in London, UK. All Saints Hospital, Chatham, Kent, UK. Edith Cavell Hospital, Peterborough, UK. Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK. She is a life member of the Indian Medical Association, FOGSI, ISGE, ISCCP(Indian Society of Colposcopy & Cervical Pathology), Life Member of Indian Society for perinatology & Reproductive Biology .Presently she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Genetics.

"The medical community has risen to the challenges of COVID-19 in our country while some may object as we have reduced the worst effects of Covid 19, the majority of this has been very positive, and our country's development is continuing to improve.”-: Dr Vasundhara Kamineni

Dr. Vasundhara Kamineni has shared her thoughts regarding the Indian healthcare system in terms of the methodologies adopted and about the open mindedness nurtured within the fraternity.

The Path Towards a Better Gender-Ratio

Fertility clinics cannot control the gender ratio at birth or what we call sex ratio at birth. According to family planning lingo, sex determination, even before pregnancy, which is known as prenatal sex determination is illegal in India and is not permitted in our country, despite the fact that it is very common in some countries around the world. So, leaving that aspect aside, in order to achieve a better gender ratio in our country, we must examine the ratio at birth. The adult ratio indicates that the girls have received better care. As a result, the "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao andolan," which has a lot to do with our social development, and the social impact of all these steps taken by the government of India or the general public, is more of a social development, which we can also say as a very positive development for the gender-ratio in India.

From the past few years, we know that the girls are doing extremely well in all the different sectors of our country so people feel very proud to bring up a girl nowadays. Even in adoption centres, the central adoption agency can tell you that girls are now more in demand to be adopted than boys.There used to be a high demand and a waiting list for little boys to be adopted a few years ago. However, the current rush is for girls .So people have to wait a couple of years to get up to adopt a baby girl, which is a very good development. Although the government has been very strict throughout these years, a large part of the several measures is taken by the different state governments and the fix implementation of the PC PNDT Act including the scanning machines & the scanning centres.

Break the Taboo & Normalize fertility

Today, it is regarded as a major issue for a girl's health to be discussed in public. To address this issue, our country has adolescent health committees in each state, which are part of our professional body, FOGSI (The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India). Today, the adolescent health committee is playing a significant role in broadening the scope of adolescent health programming in India and is also regarded as a very important and active branch of our society. As a result, they address issues such as menstruation, anaemia eradication in young girls, and normal pregnancy. They primarily target young female students in schools and colleges. So,this is now dealt very nicely in our country that committee is doing very good work on health programmes but are still not a part of the teaching curriculum in science or social studies anywhere. There is a common misconception that reproductive health education is synonymous with sex education. For example, if you are not healthy, your reproductive health suffers as well. Keeping this in mind all the educational institutes should include reproductive health as a part of curriculum for students from eight or nine years old.

Assessing the “Impact of Parents & Teachers” in Child’s Reproductive Health

When it comes to discussing their child's reproductive health, parents play a crucial role because this is more of a social issue than a medical one. We must calculate at what level the girl should be free to speak to her mother, an elder sister, or an elder relative in the family. And I believe that if we had proper educational institutes or schools for these types of problems, the negative impact would have been lessened. Today, girls do not know whom to talk to if they have a problem at school and the teacher does not give any importance to such questions being raised by the girl, or the teacher may not like to discuss, for example, will a mathematics teacher be happy to discuss a health problem?No. However, there should be a designated teacher who will discuss like in foreign countries with their school nurses, if the school has a designated nurses he can address the issue right away, and also can administer additional medications that are licensed to be administered by nurses, such as oral pain relievers or something similar. So a girl should have a clear idea where to go & whom to address when there is a problem.

Fertility Centres coping with the Modern Technological Advancements in the Recent Times

Keeping up with technology has become an integral part of our daily work. It isn't something we have by default. As a result, companies that promote these newer technologies approach us and demonstrate the assets as well as provide us with training so that we can use them to make our jobs easier and more effective. The new ART Regulation Act was recently enacted, and the government is now strictly enforcing it. I see that in India, we are going to get a lot of regulation, and all of these unregulated centres will have to close down, and only licensed people will be able to operate. I envision a future in which every government of India terminology will advance for the better.

Reforming Measures that should be taken Towards a Better Family welfare

Before in our early days there was a department of family planning during 60’s & 70’s which later was changed to department of family welfare .This initiative was taken to control the population, but it wasn't just to control the population, but also to adjust a couple who aren't having children.

However, that section appears to be abandoned for the time being, but I envision a future in which every government hospital has assisted reproductive technology centre, which will benefit many more women in our country.

Medicines: A Big Unmet Need of Our Country

When we talk about medicines today , they come out to be very expensive. If the medicines are made free or subsidized by government of India, which is big unmet need in our country for reproductive services today. People can't even do a normal delivery in a hospital they are having an ART centre but in regulated places. I feel that the ART regulation bill has now been implemented and there will be better regulation of these ART centers following national guidelines. There will be national protocols and which will have to be implemented and anybody deviating from the protocols will have to give a big explanation for that.

Unanswered questions about Surrogacy :A human Rights Violation?

Even today after the law is passed, there are still some unanswered questions about surrogacy or how the bill should be implemented. The government of India should provide some clarity; otherwise, there will be a lot of court cases and convictions of doctors, which is not acceptable. And there are illegal people who do illegal things everywhere in every society, not just doctors. However, because of the grey areas &because the law is not very clear in some areas, there may be people who exploit that and do so otherwise the future is very bright of the fertility clinic’s in India.

Future Growth Trajectory of fertility Clinics in India

Since the last decade, there has been a significant marked increase in the number of infertile couples and fertility service providers across India. Prior to this trend, assisted reproductive facilities were mostly found in large cities and were in short supply. Even smaller cities now have reproductive centres with all of the facilities and treatment that have become easily approachable and accessible.Due to this there has been drastic improvement and advancement in latest ART techniques over the years to not only improve the success rate from 25 – 30% to 65-70% but also reduce reproductive health disorders and birth defects.