Fertility clinic at civic hospital in Mumbai brings ray of hope for poor couples desiring children – Times of India

Fertility clinic at civic hospital in Mumbai brings ray of hope for poor couples desiring children – Times of India

MUMBAI: A fertility clinic at a civic hospital in Mumbai has emerged as a ray of hope for couples from lower income groups who desire to have children as it provides treatment for infertility at low costs, officials said. The clinic started functioning in October last year at the civic-run Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Medical College, also known as Sion hospital.
Dr Archana Bhosale, associate professor at the hospital’s gynaecology department and head of the fertility clinic, told PTI that 155 women, mostly from the lower income groups, are undergoing treatment at the facility and 23 of them have already conceived.
The clinic currently offers assisted reproductive technologies (ART) level-1 fertility treatments, including ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination (IUI), fertility medicines and cycle monitoring, she said.
Dr Bhosale said the ART level-1 treatments cost Rs 30,000 to 60,000 per cycle at private hospitals, but they conduct the entire treatment at a cost of just Rs 2,500, which also includes providing medicines.
A 25-year-old woman from Kharghar in neighbouring Navi Mumbai shared her success story, saying after being diagnosed with PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease), she sought treatment at the clinic.
The intervention proved successful within a few months and she is now in her sixth month of pregnancy.
“I faced irregular periods and infertility within 2-3 months of marriage. The sonography at a local hospital diagnosed PCOD, which made me very tense. The treatment at the Sion hospital brought happiness into my life,” she said.
Dr Bhosale and her team run the clinic in coordination with the andrology department that helps in understanding fertility related issues of male partners of the women undergoing treatment at the clinic.
The fertility clinic is equipped with the required machinery, including an ultrasound machine that helps them to determine the precise timing for processes like IUI, thus enhancing the chances of success, said doctors working at the facility.
According to them, depending upon various factors such as age, menstrual cycle and other factors, some patients require to go through 3 to 6 cycles and as a result the treatment cost goes up to lakhs, which is very high for the lower income group couples.
Dr Neha Kamath, who is part of Dr Bhosale’s team, said women from poor family backgrounds residing in Dharavi (slum colony), Govandi, Mankhurd and other parts of Mumbai come for treatment at the fertility clinic.
Another team member, Dr Shrutika Makde said a patient had an issue pertaining to one of the two tubes of uterus due to which she was unable to conceive.
“When we confirmed to her that she had conceived, she started crying,” Dr Makde said.
Dr Bhosale said they also plan to offer more advanced ART procedures, specifically those that fall under level-2.
According to the doctors, when the clinic was opened, they put up banners on the hospital campus, but now they do not need any advertising as couples struggling with pregnancy-related issues have been approaching the facility due to the word-of-mouth publicity.
Sion hospital dean Dr Mohan Joshi said they are planning to start the ART level 2 treatment soon and have received a donation of Rs 2.5 crore from a social organisation for the procurement of machinery, including embryo storage facility.
He said they have identified a place on 60 Feet Road in Dharavi for setting up the clinic where ART-2 treatment will be provided.
“New machines are being put up. We will reach the final destination of IVF (in vitro fertilisation) soon. It will be at a negligible cost. For the poor people, we always have donors,” Dr Joshi said.

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