By Dr Sanu Maiya Shrestha (Pradhan)
Consultant Gynaecologist and IVF specialist
Nobody would ever imagine that a victim of infertility would in long run be a hope for all infertile couples. Yet, this has become true in my case.
It was in 1996, when I visited a renowned gynaecologist as I had been unable to conceive for almost one year of my marriage. On the basis of a short clinical history and a semen analysis, I was prescribed hormone medicines conventionally for three months, which did not help me. As a result I became so stressed. I thought “It is a curse to be born infertile in a developing country, where there is a lack of expertise and the technology is so suboptimal”. When I look back to those days, I remember my high levels of stress, my jealousness of my own sisters when they had babies and my irritability even with my patients and colleagues.
I am the third child of my parent’s eight children. My mother, though she was illiterate, had better empathy of the problem than my first gynaecologist. She always assured me saying “now it is your turn to have a baby and I am sure God will never be that cruel to my child”. She always read my mind very well and made me feel very positive.
In my follow up visit, my doctor advised me to take clomiphene citrate for another three months without any further investigation. She hardly spent two minutes with me during the consultation, which made me more depressed. Finally, I changed the doctor. The second gynaecologist, who was very empathetic helped me to overcome my infertility. She always spent at least 15 to 20 minutes reassuring me and making me feel very optimistic. I conceived naturally after the diagnostic Hysterosalpingography(HSG) she advised. I had to take a bold decision in 1997. I had to make a choice whether to take a position in England for my Membership of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG) part II or have a baby. I chose to have a baby. I thought I could upgrade my academic level even in my sixties but not have a baby. Now I am a lucky mother of two angel daughters.
My own suffering from infertility led me to have my aim to gain expertise in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in order to treat infertile couples. After completion of my Postgraduate Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, I always dreamt of the opportunities to go to one of the developed countries to gain expertise in this field. My dream came true when I was selected for the AUS AID Scholarship to do Master of Science in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of New South Wales(UNSW) and especially when I was allowed to conduct a research project in Assisted Reproductive Technology for my dissertation. The topic of my dissertation was “Longitudinal assessment ofovarian and endometrial vascularity by power Doppler ultrasound during spontaneous and stimulated ovarian cycles in Assisted Reproduction Technology”. In this study, I earned anexpertise on Transvaginal Doppler Ultrasound (TVS) for ART and gained full theoretical knowledge in treating infertile couple from simple treatment to complex i.e. In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
It was in 2004 February, when I completed my Master’s Degree and came back to my home country Nepal with full knowledge and enthusiasms in the field of ART. I must say I was very lucky to get a chance to work in Om IVF Centre with Indian IVF specialists, Dr Narendra Malhotra and Jaydeep Malhotra from 2004 to 2007.I am very thankful to Dr.BholaRijal, Chairman of Om Hospital and Research Centre, for providing me an opportunity to work with Dr.Narendra and JaydeepMalhotra, who were my second mentors for my practical skills in the field of ART. My first mentors in this field were my supervisor Dr. Michael Costello (at present Lecturer in UNSW, Sydney and IVF Specialist in IVF Australia) and Co-Supervisor Late Dr. Peter Sjoblom (Former Scientific Director of Nurture IVF centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom).
After three years at Om IVF centre, in 2007, I proceeded to start another IVF Centre, known as“IVF Nepal Pvt. Ltd”. This centre germinated out of my own initiation, but was financially realised with the help of Dr.Gyanendra Man Singh Karki(Senior Consultant Gynaecologist and Laparoscopic Surgeon). Since its inception, I could apply my theoretical knowledge to its best in treating infertile couples and do some research and development. I am very thankful to Dr G Karki for his generous help.
Since its foundation “IVF Nepal Pvt. Ltd.” has served thousands of infertile couples. In this centre,infertile couples are investigated to determine the cause of infertility. On the basis of available investigations they will be suggested either Timed Intercourse(TI) or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
Our first batch of IVF treatment (Test Tube Baby treatment batch) was conducted in December 2007 and our first IVF baby named “Bigyan Shrestha” was born on 1stAugust 2008 to Mr. Gyanendra Shrestha and Bimala Shrestha.
From 18th October 2015 IVF Nepal Pvt. Ltd team under my leadership moved from Global Hospital premises to Satdobato 15, Lalitpur (Anu Book Store Building) with new name “Creator’s IVF Nepal Pvt.Ltd” with improved facilities to achieve better goal in the field of ART. My dream to develop an IVF Centre with my ownership came true when Creator’s IVF Nepal pvt. Ltd was born.