It is very unfortunate and tragic that, even in this modern day and age; marriages are broken and shattered by the pressure from family and society due to infertility.
Recently I met my old patient and it was heart breaking to listen to her story. Six years back when I met her, she was struggling to conceive and we had treated her successfully. The couple had a love marriage and I could instantly sense the love and chemistry between them. Unfortunately her pregnancy ended up in preterm delivery at 29 weeks and consequently her baby died. I could not meet her after the incident, as they were located very far.
When I met her recently, I was shocked to know the string of events which followed the baby’s death. Invariably all the family members put the blame on the woman. I was surprised to know that, the family actually analyzed the situation and looked for a solution with the help of astrology (jyothishm). The recommendation was that, the horoscope ( jathakom ) of the husband and wife did not match which resulted in the baby’s death. The worst part was that, they even predicted that the husband will die, if he continued in the marriage and divorce was suggested. Friends and relatives made sure that their happy marriage was mercilessly crushed.
I still remember the chemistry between them. They were a lovely couple, so happy together, they did not really need a child to make them happy, both were very creative , talented and unique individuals. Divorce created lots of problems for both the individuals, she had to take antidepressants, he became a drunkard and the career of both was affected badly. The ex- husband is facing financial issues and drinking problems now.
When we ponder on this issue, from the superstitions what did the family gain? What did the society gain ? Do you think that the families or parents that make such decisions are good for the society?
The reason for the sub-fertility was that the sperms were subnormal, so the actual medical reason is far from the truth. The cause of preterm delivery and neonatal death must have been semen abnormality. It has nothing to do with mismatch / jathakom or religion. But the superstitions shattered the life of two happy individuals. I feel that society and family should stop interfering in the life of couples, who are unable to have a baby. "PLEASE LEAVE THEM ALONE".
It is not a must that you should have your own baby to have a fulfilling life, many couple chooses to live happily without planning kids. Consider finding happiness in looking after other children, there are so many unfortunate children around us who are thirsting for parental love. Adoption is always a great option.
Above all, it is the basic human right to make their own decisions when it comes to building a family. (women and men have equal rights) You have to be strong enough to say, "I WILL MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS IN MY LIFE". Whether you are single, Gay, heterosexual or homosexual couples, every single human should have the basic human right to decide how they should live, without interference from society.
Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre
Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 15 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore, along with her spouse Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist London, DFFP from ART Warwick university and worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and Bangalore. Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI , donor egg / sperm and surrogacy. Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.