Aug 23, 2013

Bridging the Fertility Gap: Let's Break the Silence

Manila, Philippines – Merck Serono and the medical community have come together to put up, an online site that provides information on infertility, its causes, and treatment options for Filipino couples.

From August 25 to 31, the platform will host Fertility Awareness Week 2013, a weeklong event that will feature a series of Web congresses on the nature of infertility, barriers to understanding the condition, and treatment options available in the Philippines for Filipino couples seeking to conceive.

The Roots of Infertility

Fertility specialist Dr. Anthony Ancheta, FPOGS (Fellow, Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society), FPSREI (Fellow, Philippine Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility, Inc.) shared that men and women are faced with a variety of biological and non-biological factors that contribute to infertility.

Female factors include ovulation problems, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine factors, and poor egg quality. Male factors include the sperm count, activity and quality, and male tube blockage.

There is also unexplained fertility. In some cases, men and women undergo necessary tests to determine the cause of their inability to bear a child but results suggest that male and female factors are normal. This prompts a closer look at other sources of the problem such as medical illnesses, family history of infertility, previous surgery, sexual dysfunction, lifestyle factors, and work stress.

“There is an urgent need for couples experiencing infertility to seek treatment but they must first understand their condition with the guidance of their specialists. It is important to fully assess and identify the factors that lead to infertility because each treatment depends on the result of the fertility workup or initial medical tests,” said Dr. Ancheta.

Easy as A, B, C

After a thorough evaluation, couples are guided through options that can help them conceive. According to Dr. Ancheta, specialists begin with the least invasive, most cost-effective way of getting a couple pregnant depending on the complexity and factors that affect chances of having a baby.

“Efficient and cost-effective infertility treatments are here in the Philippines. Of course, there are certain pre-requisites that we must initially consider before going through those methods but it is important for couples to know that there are local experts ready to help and guide them through the process,” Dr. Ancheta explains.

Dr. Ancheta further expressed that assessing infertility treatment options is a rigorous step-by-step procedure that includes a review of the number of years that the couple has been trying to conceive, types of investigations done in the past, and treatment options previously performed. This helps experts in providing patients with a recommendation on how to proceed from one plan to another.

“The misconceptions that are surrounding the condition can only worsen if we do not address the lack of avenues to explain them. There are men and women that recognize infertility as a problem but do not seek treatment because of financial constraints, limited education, and other reasons. With the help of our local fertility experts, the campaign aims to enlighten these couples and provide opportunities to help them experience the joy of bringing forth new life,” said Dess CartaƱo, Fertility Franchise Associate Product Manager at Merck Serono.

For more information on Fertility Awareness Week 2013, visit the official Hope for Starting Families website,

Press release

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