Milann-The Fertility Center

BY: Shailesh Guntu - 21 May-2021

What is genesis of Milann’s journey?

Milann was established in 1990 by Dr. Kamini A. Rao (Padma Shri Awardee). Formerly known as Bangalore Assisted Conception Center (BACC), it was rebranded as Milann after entering a strategic partnership with Health Care Global Enterprise (HCGEL) in 2013 and became a 100% HCGEL subsidiary in 2020. We have 8 centres across India, situated at prime locations in major metropolitan cities. We offer individuals access to advanced medical diagnosis and treatment options available in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). 

 

How has COVID impacted birth plans and fertility rates?  

India is fighting against the second wave of COVID-19, and times are really challenging for everyone. This shifted the focus and no one is talking about how it is affecting pregnancy rate and fertility treatments. At present there are no specific statistics for India, though it has been observed by fertility specialists that COVID is affecting the fertility rate in men and women. The medical fraternity is suggesting an increase in the number of Stillbirths and Caesarean deliveries and a significant drop in the number of pregnancies as people are scared for many reasons like accessibility to healthcare, future economic difficulties, fear of infection, shortage of healthcare workers, etc. Stress and Anxiety levels have increased, reduced work-life balance and uncertainty due to the “COVID atmosphere”, all are contributing to the rise in infertility rate. 

 

What is the global sentiment and scenario like?

Also, restricted access to family planning services is a major concern. In a survey of its national members, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reported in April 2020 that 5,633 static and mobile clinics and community-based care outlets across 64 countries had closed as a consequence of the pandemic, equivalent to 14% of total IPPF service delivery points in 2018 (IPPF, 2020). A survey by Guttmacher Institute showed that around 40% of women wanted to delay their pregnancy plans or have fewer children due to uncertainties brought by the pandemic. This is what we call a “Baby Bust” in many countries; a temporary marked decrease in the birth rate. Joshua Wilde and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic research in Germany studied the number of searches in pregnancy related terms from Google, and the study shows that there is a significant drop, due to which, authors predict around 15% decline in new childbirths. 

 

How is Milann tackling the challenge?

We as a pioneer in fertility care identified the trend and have devised better modules to make fertility care accessible. At Milann we want to convey that there is no need to be scared. As CEO of Milann in addition to my current role as Director- HealthCare Services-HCG, it is my job to ensure patients must have easy access to quality healthcare even during the surge. Everything is possible in today’s technologically sound world. We are determined to reduce the risk and help women have safe pregnancies and fertility treatments.

 

SPECIFIC STEPS TAKEN BY MILANN ARE: 

1) IVF at Home – Most processes of fertility treatment can be rendered at home, so the couple do not have to step out of their safe bubble-Home

2) Video Consultation – The couple can be in constant touch with the expert via video consultations

3) Complimentary Rides – Partnered with Ola and Uber, we have introduced free pickup and drop facilities for couples whenever they have to visit our centre

4) One Couple At A Time - We are committed to provide a sanitised & stress-free environment so we plan appointments in a way that there is no one else except our staff when you arrive

5) Trained & Vaccinated Staff- Our staff is fully vaccinated which reduces the chances of contraction of infection and spread to a bare minimum. They will also take all precautions and follow guidelines when on a home visits. We also keep a daily check on our staff’s temperature and symptoms 

6) Sanitization - Everyone at the clinic sanitizes/washes their hands from time to time and we urge patients to do so too. Also, our clinic is regularly sanitized 

7) Medicine Deliveries - Have also collaborated with Dunzo so we can deliver medicines to their doorstep

8) Financial Assistance – Our association with Bajaj Finance will help couple to avail fertility treatment with 0% EMI.

We will also be constantly looking for other challenges along the way, and will surely find ways to resolve them. 

 

Pregnancy VS vaccination : Concerns & considerations

Also, many couples are concerned about vaccination during the process of treatment and even during pregnancy. They are delaying treatment to get vaccinated first. To them, our advice is to not stop treatment midway, it is safe to get vaccinated and you should get vaccinated whether in the process or during pregnancy, in order to minimize risks to themselves and their pregnancy. However, it is important that each patient discuss vaccination with their fertility specialist and decide what the best course of action is for them and their family. See, the risks of COVID are far greater than vaccination, and the known and potential benefits of these vaccines outweigh the known and potential harms of COVID-19 infection.

 

What is your advice for those planning parenthood? 

As they say, Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. Pandemic, or No, there is never an utterly perfect time for planning a pregnancy. But, with infertile couples and the ones that need some help, the clock is ticking and they might not have as much time. No one is currently stopping the process of natural conception. Then, why stop it for a couple whose only hope for parenthood is through assisted reproductive technique. So, do not be scared to plan a pregnancy, we are here to help, guide and treat you and do our best in making your pregnancy journey worthwhile. We believe in ensuring that every woman enjoys the fundamental right to give birth.

 

*This story is published by VOH team*

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