When you think of babies, the first thing that comes to mind is the feeling of happiness – of blissful parents cuddling their adorable little one – nothing short of perfection. Unfortunately, not all couples share the same feeling, especially for the 15% of the population who are suffering from fertility problems. I know the feeling coz my husband and I tried for many years and thought a new bundle of joy would never come. One can’t imagine the anguish a person has to go through while waiting, hoping and praying for even some sort of miracle. We tried almost everything, exhausted efforts, to the point where hope and prayers were the only things that kept us from dreaming of another child. And then he came….. our son, Zee, after 8 long years. We were blessed and I prayed that those with the same infertility problems can finally have their answers.

There is hope! Have you heard about IVF? Read on and hopefully, this is the answer to those who seek.

Merck Fertility Awareness

Merck remains committed to changing lives of couples with fertility problems through the Fertility Awareness Campaign, now in its fifth year.

Infertility is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”

Turning Dreams into Reality
Data from a Synovate survey in 2011 shows that one out of 10 Filipinos is suffering from infertility. There are different factors that affect a couple’s ability to procreate such as socio-cultural practices, including the marrying age, educational status, professional goals.

Aside from those, Dr. Virgilio M. Novero Jr., head of St. Luke’s flagship Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI), infertility can also be traced to issues affecting both the female and male reproductive systems and medical conditions that compromise the quality of egg and sperm cells.

Since 2013, the local arm of the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck Philippines, has been proactive in their fertility awareness campaign.

The campaign, which is aptly named “Bridging Baby Steps,” aims to continue education on infertility and raise awareness about the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) methods available in the country through seminars and information dissemination.

The ART of Procreation
Infertility should not be the be-all and end-all for couples, as there are means and ways to this.

One available method for childless couples is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). This treatment procedure enables multiplication of ovarian follicles and facilitates egg cell retrieval. During the process, embryos will be formed outside the body of a female patient and will be transferred once the “cultures” are successfully formed. Patients who are suffering from severe sperm deficits, blocked fallopian tubes, unexplained infertility, mild endometriosis, and ovulation disorders can be candidates for this treatment.

With regards to IVF being risky, Dr. Novero shared that the success rate of such procedure has grown tremendously over the past years. He said that about six million children around the world were born via IVF.

“As they say, ‘where there’s life, there’s hope.’ We, at Merck Philippines, understand the heartaches of couples who can’t conceive a child,” said Dess Cartaῆo, Sales & Marketing Manager for Fertility, Merck Philippines. “We want to let them know that there are means and ways to combat infertility. “

To know more about infertility and IVF in the Philippines, visit www.facebook.com/fertilityawarenessphilippines.

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