Telangana

Popping the pill may well lead to infertility

Gynaecologists and fertility experts have begun linking the rising trend of medical termination of pregnancies (MTPs) and abuse of morning-after pills to infertility, especially secondary infertility, a condition wherein couples struggle to have a child after the first pregnancy.

Experts point out that rampant abuse of morning-after pills (emergency contraception) by women has become a major reason for tubal defects (damage or infection to fallopian tubes), which in turn plays a big role in causing secondary infertility. Many point out that there is no regulation, and drug stores in Hyderabad indulge in sale of the pills over the counter.

“According to the rule book, even the doctor is not supposed to prescribe such pills. They have to make the patient take the pills in their presence. Such pills are for emergency only, but these days, they have become the norm. Traditional contraceptive devices have been forgotten. This abuse plays a big role with women’s body,” says senior obstetrician and gynaecologist P. Balamba.

Abortions to blame too

A former Superintendent of the Osmania General Hospital (OGH), Dr. Balamba points out that rampant abortions too have played its role.

“Termination of pregnancies is rampant and they are known to cause infections leading to tubal defects. Another cause for secondary infertility is lack of proper safety measures extended to mothers after child birth. Forty-eight hours after childbirth is very vital,” says Dr. Balamba.

Some estimates suggest 30 per cent of the cases of infertility are related to secondary infertility.

“Patients think infertility does not occur with people already having children. This problem is common and growing. It could be overwhelming and traumatic for a couple, especially because conceiving their first child was not a difficult task,” says fertility specialist Chandana Lakkireddi of Nova IVI Fertility.

Seeking help

Experts point out that couples might experience a gamut of emotions such as anger, confusion, self-blame, depression, etc. It is therefore critical to immediately seek help from a doctor. Experts also point out that one should also look for sub-clinical hypothyroidism, which could also lead to secondary infertility.

“One should also realise that secondary infertility could also be due to the male partner, who might have some complications. So, this condition should not be looked as a health problem only of the woman,” Dr. Balamba added.

M. Sai Gopal

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Printable version | Jan 14, 2021 11:31:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/popping-the-pill-may-well-lead-to-infertility/article7140133.ece

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