Contact me !

If you need to contact me , please write to me to this email ID : I will be happy to help.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How life style changes helped me to overcome premature ovarian failure ( POF ) - a real life infertility success story !

I got this very thoughtful email from my blog reader. Although , I do not support her view that eating organic food or doing yoga could help you conceive , I was really impressed by her detailed account. If it helps someone , inspires someone to make lifestyle changes , I would be very happy.

A word of caution - she is young and that could have made all the difference even if she is suffering from POF. Hope everyone gets lucky as she did.

Hi Manju,

I am an engineer by profession and work in the IT industry.  I am a long time follower of your blog. However,  haven’t gotten in touch with you before..The recent publication of  Sarah Marie’s post makes me write this to you. I have a tangential story to tell..

Me too a sufferer of infertility.  We have been searching for our baby luck for 9 long years and finally found our bundle of joy!. I had severe female factor infertility.  Premature ovarian failure was the diagnosis. I have had 8 failed IUI’s and 4 failed IVFs. At 28, I was told my menopause is  approaching. My AMH was very low.  I responded very poorly even to aggressive stimulation. Very few follicles . Even those follicles did not result in mature eggs. We  know very well, the pain of infertility is beyond anything that words can capture and the emotional trauma of giving up is bigger than continuing to try . Through my  struggles and fears, your blog had been a great moral support. Thank you so much!  I cried when you lost your twins, excited when you chose to have the embryo transfer yourself instead of the surrogate, delighted when you got pregnant and thanked God when beautiful Anisha was born. Indeed, I am so happy for you Manju!

 Coming back to my story, I had produced just 2 viable embryos in all those 4 IVFs combined! They too did not implant. For me, more than getting pregnant, producing a decent number of follicles itself was a huge challenge. I had one tube blocked and the other was clear. I was seriously advised to clip the other one too to prevent embryo implanting in the tubes.  

I came to know of Dr.Malpani through your blog.  I wrote to him, asking for a opinion before starting my 5th IVF. Even Doctors thought I was mad to go for one more IVF after the results I have had till then. But, I had come too far to go back. Dr.Malpani’s reply came back promptly with the treatment options ranging from aggressive stimulation to donor egg. Along with that he had prescribed some supplements and suggested to read the book “Inconceivable” by Julia Indichova. I least expected a book recommendation from an IVF specialist. I purchased the book and started reading it. It was the story of a woman who conceived naturally at the age of 42 after having been turned down by all IVF clinics. She had attributed her success to mind-body work, yoga practice, supplements,  some traditional medicines and a diet that included raw fruits and vegetables. The same list that was bashed and called as quackery in Sarah’s post. I too never took such unproven ways seriously because doctors have told me repeatedly there is nothing I can do to improve my egg quality.  Anyways, I liked the holistic approach. I  decided to try this keeping my next IVF attempt in suspension for a while. I had nothing to loose. I had already hit rock bottom 😃

I realized that I had totally started believing that my body is incapable of conceiving naturally because that’s what every Doctor  told me. I had to recover myself from that mindset first. The book helped me do that. I cannot exactly describe the process. It is about renewing one’s own connect with the body. IVF treatments had basically made me treat my body like a lifeless entity. I looked at it like an object - a place where  I let needles to be  punched in and then step aside to see if a  baby pops out. For five months I followed the suggestions in the book religiously. Grabbed every bit of information on diet that helped improve egg quality. Practiced yoga poses that  specifically help the pituitary glad.  Stopped all medications including DHEA. I saw my period length getting corrected. Getting closer to a 28 day cycle from 24 or 25 days and period blood looking healthier (It is only then, that I learnt how a healthy period blood should look like). On the sixth month I took acupuncture sessions for 20 days.I conceived my baby girl naturally the same month.  She was  born 2 months back. It was a normal delivery.  I  started approaching infertility specialists at the age of 28. I am 35 now :)

BTW, I did not pay for any other programs the author offered. It is easy to brush aside these alternative approaches  as unproven or not scientific. But, tell me  which pharma company is going to fund a research on yoga’s effect on harmonal balance. Who is going to make money  proving life style change can help in conception.  All the research happens only on the IVF drugs. It’s a race run by one man and no wonder he is the winner.  I am speaking from my experience.  My case may not stand scientific probing. I don’t have a  degree in biology. I am just an engineer. I am sharing my experience for  it might help someone out  there with a condition like mine. I just want to say there is hope even after multiple IVF failures.

What changes she did ?

1. Practiced yoga for 45 mins morning and evening (mainly the poses that help with pituitary functionality  Headstands and Shoulder stands).  I had a teacher come home and teach me.

2.Took a green juice every day (wheat grass power or goose berries)

3.Changed from cooked lunch to Raw vegetable salad. Eliminated Rice and Sugar. Switched to millet based diet and organic produce.

4.Took supplements Royal Jelly, Coq10, Shatavari, Wheatgerm oil.

5.Took acupuncture sessions for 20 days straight to correct ying-yang energy balance  (Dr.’s observation was that I had immunity disorder due to stress and male energy was dominant compared to female energy).

I leave it to you if you want to publish Julia’s name or even the letter itself. You built the blog . You are free to not publish content that you don’t agree with :)  I am totally fine with whatever you choose..

If anyone wants her email ID , I will be happy to provide.

Warm Regards,



Warm Regards,


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to regulate commercial surrogacy in India ?

There are now so many articles in favour of , and against , Indian government's move to ban commercial surrogacy. I do not want to get into that debate. I have gone through infertility and I know how hard it can be when you are denied the right to have your biological child because of a medical problem. On the other hand , surrogacy in India , in its present form , is definitely not ethical enough. The most exploited person in a surrogacy arrangement is the surrogate. When Indian doctors claim that this surrogacy arrangement is OK , and it's a win - win situation for all , I wonder whether they have ditched their conscience. In terms of benefit , in a surrogacy arrangement , the surrogate occupies the bottom rug of the ladder - but she does the most important and tedious job. The IVF patient and doctor are happy partners who are keen on getting their much needed baby and money , respectively. Although , intellectually speaking , this arrangement looks perfect - everyone gets what they want and no one is harmed - but the truth is , surrogate , who in majority of cases is uneducated and desperate for money ,  is exploited.
So , what can the Indian government do to regulate surrogacy rather than banning it ?
Step # 1
Does a patient really needs surrogacy ?
Government must set up a panel of doctors to decide whether a patient must be allowed to take up surrogacy or not.
If it is decided that a particular patient needs surrogacy to conceive , they must be first encouraged to find a relative who is willing to be their surrogate. If it fails , then they must be encouraged to pursue commercial surrogacy.
Step # 2
Examining the candidate who wants to be a surrogate.

Why shouldn't a surrogate's basic qualification be fixed ? A woman with a functional womb - is this qualification enough to be a surrogate ? Isn't it a profession which needs a bit of intelligence and understanding too - in order to safe guard their rights , their body ? Apart from medical tests , the woman who wants to be a surrogate must be tested for their basic knowledge regarding IVF procedure , pregnancy , the risk involved in surrogacy , surrogacy laws etc. They must be able to read and understand the surrogacy document - the documents must be available in local language. 
Step # 3
Surrogate banks must be set up by the government.
Women who wants to pursue as surrogate must register their details in the bank. Whenever a patient needs a surrogate , the bank must supply the surrogate in the order they are registered. Surrogate bank must fix a minimum fee for surrogacy - it must be the same nationwide. A surrogate must also be allowed to fix her rate - it can be anywhere above the minimal rate which is fixed by the surrogate bank. When doctors can fix their rate - why can't surrogates do the same ? If the intended parents agree to the rate , they can continue the surrogacy procedure with that particular surrogate , otherwise , they can try bargaining with the next surrogate in line. This kind of arrangement gives an upper - hand for the surrogates - and I believe it's extremely important to give power to the surrogates.
Step # 4
The IVF doctor will carry out the IVF procedure on the surrogate whom his / her patient has chosen. This kind of regulation , takes away the burden from the IVF doctors. They do not have to run behind agents for recruiting surrogates , they do not have to act as a middle - man between the patient and surrogate - this will give them lots of time to concentrate on their profession.
Step # 5
Once the surrogate gets pregnant she must be taken care of the intended parents. This will encourage patients to select an IVF clinic and surrogate bank which is situated in the proximity where they live. In this way , the stigma surrounding IVF procedure , including  surrogacy , can be removed. After all , the surrogate is carrying their baby - who else will take care of surrogate's need better than the intended parents ?
Banning surrogacy altogether , and telling patients who need surrogacy to adopt , is definitely against the citizens' right to freedom. Banning commercial surrogacy altogether can lead to many underground activities. The patients will definitely go to other countries where surrogacy is legal to fulfil their rightful wish. Why should the government loose the income ?
If foreign nationals are allowed to do surrogacy in India , the surrogates must be paid equal to what they would pay for a surrogate in their place ? Why should Indian wombs be a lot cheaper ? The care of foreign nationals' surrogate must be again taken care by a government agency.
I don't know whether I am intelligent enough to propose something like this. Might be there are many loop holes in this proposal which needs to be mended. My idea is to give a lot of power to surrogates so that they do not get exploited. This kind of arrangement also protects patients from unscrupulous IVF doctors.

I must mention about my surrogate here. If you are reading my blog for a long time now , you will know that I have attempted surrogacy once. Even though it didn't work out and I abandoned the option , I still have contact with my surrogate , Rita. Such a lovely soul she is. She keeps in touch with me via WhatsApp. She calls me didi ( sister ) and showers me with so much love and affection. On seeing the news about shootings in Germany , she was the first to enquire about our well being. She was so excited to see Anisha and loves her very much. She was so happy for me when I had Anisha. Her son talks to me too , especially when I and Rita couldn't communicate deeper because of the language barrier. Once I offered Rita to pay her children's education fees as long as they study. Do you know what her reply was - " thanks didi , I have enough ". What a rich woman she is ! I know her well. She was ready to carry my child for a mere 3500 dollars. Imagine how important is money for her. She gently refused to take money from me when I offered her. I am so gifted to come across her and she carried our embryo for six weeks :) 

Indian surrogates need to be paid better and they shouldn't be treated as cattles by hoarding them all in a small place when they become pregnant. Why should others earn more , and benefit more , at their expense ?
I would be very happy to hear reader's views and suggestions , please leave your comments below !

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...