Women's health awareness a must

Lifestyle disorder

Rashmi Khanna*, a management professional, got married at the age of 28 and planned on starting a family after two years of her marriage. But her world came crashing down when she was informed that she was suffering from infertility. 

A few years ago, Khanna underwent an ovarian drilling procedure to get cured of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Considering that the lifestyle disorder is affecting one in every 10 woman in India, it is important to know that over-drilling of ovaries causes diminished egg supply, which results in infertility. 

“Ovarian drilling is an operative technique in which we make holes in ovary to regularise hormonal level,” explains Dr Shobha Gupta, medical director and IVF specialist at Mother’s Lap IVF Centre, Pitampura.   

Having treated Khanna, Gupta says, “In PCOS patients, there are sufficient number of eggs which help in conceiving but they don’t have the capacity to develop. In a research done in USA, few years ago, it was found that via laparoscopy or key-hole surgery, the ovaries are punctured with a small needle carrying an electric current or using laser to voluntarily breach the ovarian capsule. This surgery can lower male hormone levels and help with ovulation. But it needs a lot of alertness on the part of the surgeon, since there are various risks associated with it, such as infections and bleeding from the incision and pain after the procedure etc.”

After much hassle and a lot of stress, Khanna is now undergoing an IVF procedure with a donor egg. But the question remains, how is a patient supposed to know whether or not a surgeon has conducted over-drilling? “Surgery should only be the last resort,” says Dr Rahul Manchanda, specialist in gynaeocological endoscopy at Pushpawati Singhania Hospital & Research Institute, Sheikh Sarai. 

“Laproscopy is good to diagnose PCOS but like in any other disease, medical management should be used first in PCOS too. Also, lapro­scopy or laser surgery, as it is colloquially called, is carried not only for PCOS but even other intractable problems, such as excessive weight gain and menstrual irregularities,” he adds.
   Though the process seems like an easy medium, it is for the perceptive to realise the risks associated with it. Also, there is very little awareness about the reasons for PCOS and its cure by changing our lifestyle. Dr Gupta suggests, “Patients should always discuss with the doctor regarding their surgery. Yes, some smaller clinics do become over enthusiastic during treatment, but they must realise that a single drill can be effective too.”

A change in lifestyle including reduction of weight and diet management helps cure PCOS at the initial stage. Experts emphasise that ovarian drilling is only advisable for women whose fertility problems stem from PCOS. “It is also only indicated for women with PCOS who have not had success with other fertility treatments,” suggests Dr Gupta.

*Name changed on request

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