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Is stress of the lockdown raking havoc on your period?

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New Delhi : Many women have complained about irregular and painful periods during this period of self isolation and home sheltering.

According to the doctors, due to being confined to houses for a long duration of time, their routine activities like sleep pattern, eating habits, physical activity all have been affected which causes stress, resulting in irregularity of periods and the intensity of cramps.

Dr. Anubha Singh, Gynecologist and IVF Expert from Shantah Fertility Centre said: “Many patients have informed us over phone that their periods have become irregular and after talking to them it was found that they are feeling very stressed. The reason for this is that the Covid-19 lockdown has spoiled their daily routine. Stress problems in women have increased due to the epidemic. Stress affects the amount of cortisol produced by the body. Among women who are under high stress, 40 per cent of women complain of infertility. However, there is no concrete evidence that infertility is due to stress.”

Many psychiatrists and psychologists have given their own arguments some say the problem increases in women who live in stress and depression.

Panic among women

Stress is bound to cause hormonal imbalance and even PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) in women. “If you had been borderline PCOS all along, this stress induced by the pandemic might push you over to the other side. The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, and the fact that no one really knows when this might end, has resulted in widespread panic. Also since most women are now locked indoors, they”re probably not leading the healthiest of lives. Such unusual situations could exacerbate preexisting hormonal imbalances in women. For instance, if a woman had been diagnosed with mild PCOS, it might get aggravated during this time” explained Dr. Anubha Singh.

Diet and sleep patterns are affected

Since most of the women have been locked inside the house, they are not able to live a healthy lifestyle. In such a situation, their sleep patterns and diet are also being affected. Stress can increase the imbalance of insulin in the body which causes the secretion of leptin hormone. Women who used to cycle period within the first 30 days, now their cycle can be delayed by 7-8 days or even more. This is called oligomenorrhea.

Acne in women

When we are stressed, our body releases cortisol. When it is in abundance, it reduces estrogen production which leads to a spike in androgen levels. Androgen plays an important role in connecting with the sebaceous glands. At greater stress, these glands produce oil. Excess oil stops our skin pores, and causes an inflammation that takes the form of an acne.

Hormonal imbalance

If hormonal imbalances persist in women, it could affect hair growth, weight bloating, hair fall, trouble in concentrating and it may even lead to impaired fertility in the long run. Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical director and IVF Specilaist from Mother”s Lap IVF Centre said that “cases have been seen where women under extreme stress or duress have stopped having periods altogether. Although we”ve not reached that stage yet, we just might if things continue the way they are now.”

Everyone is trying to ease these situations or stay calm. “One key factor in reducing stress levels is coming to terms with the fact that the current situation, where all of India is locked down, is not in anyone”s hands and working on oneself is really the best way to deal with it. Try and make a fixed routine for your day, eat healthy foods, sleep on time, and try to be happy as much as possible. Do not take stress unnecessarily” added Dr. Shobha Gupta.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])

Health

Erdogan says Turkey becomes 3rd to develop COVID-19 vaccines

President Erdogan says Turkey has become third country to develop vaccines locally against #COVID19 after U.S. and China, and one of the vaccines “has received ethical approval to move on to the clinical trial on humans.”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

ISTANBUL, Aug. 9 : Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey has become the third country to develop vaccines locally against COVID-19 after the United States and China according to the World Health Organization.

“The COVID-19 Turkey Platform, founded by the TUBITAK (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey,) is currently working on eight different vaccines and 10 different medication projects,” Erdogan said at the opening ceremony of the TUBITAK Excellence Centers in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.

“Collaborating with state and private sectors and universities, Turkey has been making significant progress in developing vaccines and drugs against COVID-19,” the Turkish leader added.

Erdogan noted that two vaccine candidates have successfully completed the animal tests, and one of them has received ethical approval to move on to the clinical trial on humans.

The total COVID-19 cases in Turkey reached 239,622 on Saturday with a death toll of 5,829, according to the latest official data.

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Karnataka Health Minister Sriramulu tests Covid positive

To reassure the people of Karnataka, the health minister said, under the leadership of the chief ministers, all the departments of the state government, including the health department, have been working hard against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu

Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, barely a week after chief minister BS Yediyurappa tested positive for the viral infection last Sunday.

Taking to Twitter, Sriramulu said that he was tested after he went down with flu-like symptoms. He added that he was hospitalised because he had been visiting the state’s 30 districts amid the spike in coronavirus cases in the state. The health minister has been admitted to the state-run Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru.

“From the time of Corona’s appearance, I have had the opportunity to visit the 30 districts and work in harmony with the government’s desire to treat people well. It is in this backdrop that I am going to be hospitalised and treated,” he said in Kannada in a series of tweets.

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Explaining time-sensitiveness of assisted reproduction

These negative feelings may lead to varying degrees of depression, anxiety, distress, and a poor quality of life,” reiterates Chirumamilla.

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sex buddy during lockdown

New Delhi, Aug 9 : According to WHO, every 1 in 8 couples (or 12 per cent of married women) has gone through complexities getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. This calls for a timely intervention and awareness amongst the patients to when to consider medical intrusion and opt for an IVF procedure.

Recent statistics show that an on-time IVF has higher success rates than a delayed initiation. This revolutionary procedure is an effective treatment to treat infertility and helps in the conception of a child. Depending on the criticality, patients might opt for less invasive treatment options before going ahead with IVF, which includes reproductive medications, increased production of eggs, or intrauterine insemination. However, if a couple has repeatedly failed to conceive after all other treatments and desires to attempt for IVF, then they should be aware of the procedure and importance of time for opting the same, she says.

IANSlife spoke to Dr. Lakshmi Chirumamilla, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility Hyderabad who explains in detail:

Patients, planning to undergo assisted reproductive treatment (ART) like IVF, should first understand that the procedure is usually done using their own eggs and their partners’ sperm. It may also involve eggs, sperm or embryos from an anonymous donor in some cases considering other complexities. Therefore, when a couple undergoes the first sign of infertility, they should consult a fertility expert to understand their biological risk stage, as the process and success rate will depend on their ability to produce eggs or sperms. Patients experience a series of tests like an evaluation of ovarian reserve, semen analysis, uterine cavity exam etc., and post that only in-vitro fertilization is initiated.

In some cases, women with growing age deplete their ovarian reserve and men tend to have lesser sperm count. This often can lead to diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), which happens when women ovaries lose their reproductive potential, causing permanent infertility. Here, the most vulnerable age is after 37 years. In a situation like this, fertility treatment becomes complicated with intricate procedures like embryo transfer as a next step.

“This whole procedure strictly includes a time-sensitive diagnosis and here, a delayed decision of IVF and other ART treatments can often lead to complicacies on the treatment outcome and that can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, isolation, and loss of control. As per WHO, depression levels in patients with infertility have been compared with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. These negative feelings may lead to varying degrees of depression, anxiety, distress, and a poor quality of life,” reiterates Chirumamilla.

Adding, “We have witnessed varied cases, where time played a crucial role in the IVF process. We had a couple who came to Nova IVF seeking fertility treatment, where the 28 year old woman had been trying to conceive with her husband for the past 3 years. Up on a detailed further examination, we figures out that the husband’s semen analysis was normal, while woman had a low ovarian reserve. Here, the woman was advised to opt for IVF over a year ago, but had refrained from going ahead with it. Therefore, when a year later they finally decided to go for an assisted reproduction, the chances of the couple conceiving got decreased drastically due to her prolonged low ovarian reserve. Nevertheless, we opted for the procedure and post the first cycle of IVF, we ended up retrieving only two eggs and performed a single embryo transfer, which unfortunately came out negative. In the second cycle, we somehow managed to retrieve three eggs from the woman that then resulted in 2 embryos. Basis that, after performing a single embryo transfer in the second cycle, the woman was finally able to conceive.”

Considering all the odds and still being optimistic at a chance of parenthood, the couple did go ahead with the treatment keeping in mind the age and time-sensitive nature of any IVF-related treatment. It is always important to remember that age is not an indicator to undergo IVF treatment, when IVF is needed it is better to do it sooner than later. Treatment will always be advised according to the cause. Currently, the couple is happily pregnant awaiting the arrival of their little one.

Similar to this, assisted reproductive technology has aided many couples around the world to conceive and given meaning to their lives. There are countless success stories to inspire couples looking to undertake the procedure and fulfil their long-time desire to have a child.

There is no wrong time to have a baby, but it is wiser to not delay the process just because of the stereotyping of the society or present pandemic scenario. It is advisable not to neglect the early signs of infertility and consult a specialist at the initial stage to evaluate criticality and ensure a successful conception. Considering the present scenario, patients should always be cautious about the safety measures taken at the IVF centre and how stringently they are adhering to the govt. directives. Whenever visiting the clinic it is imperative to maintain at least one-meter distance from other people. Just make sure you avoid unnecessary contact with other people over there. Carrying hand sanitizer and mask is compulsory with frequent hand washes whenever required.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])

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