Fertility Awareness Campaign, now on its fifth year.

When you think of babies, first thing that come to mind is the feeling of happiness – of blissful parents cuddling their adorable little one – nothing short of perfection.

One of the main goals that every couple wants to achieve in their marriage is to build a family. A family that they could call their own.

Backed in 1996, me and my wife were blessed with a bouncing baby boy. After four years, we decided to have our second child. But due to a uterine problem, my wife had a hard time conceiving another one. Each month, it hurts to saw her frustrated look every time we had a negative result on her pregnancy test. After three years of waiting, we finally received our answered prayers–an awesome baby girl! But after being blessed with those amazing babies, though we wished to have at least one more, we never had the chance to increase the size of the family we built.

With that, I can imagine the agony of other couples that belongs to the 15% of the population who are suffering from fertility problems.

World Health Organization (WHO) defines infertility 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 to Reality
Data from a Synovate survey in 2011 shows that one out of 10 Filipinos are 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 compromises 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, tagged as “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.