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IVF baby brings cheers to Filipino couple
By Mariecar Jara-Puyod September 26, 2017
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DUBAI: Filipino couple Cornelio and Josephine Peralta from Dubai is all smiles and happiness, for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has made it possible for them to experience the essence of marriage – being parents.

On Aug.6, their 5.5-pound Kirsten Keona Peralta was delivered at Prime Hospital-Dubai after the 31-year-old mother found peace and solace from the IVF procedure and treatments at Bourne Hall Fertility Centre-Dubai. Husband and wife went for the IVF in Nov.2016.

Having been married for nine years since 2008, the Peraltas had difficulties in attaining parenthood.

Josephine suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – one of the leading causes of infertility among women – since age 16. She also suffers from hypothyroidism, another block to pregnancy.

The couple arrived in the UAE in 2011 and since then, went for all possible fertility procedures including hormonal injections, acupuncture, herbal medicines and intra-uterine insemination. All failed.

On Monday, Josephine told The Gulf Today: “For those struggling to get pregnant, do not be afraid to seek help. There are better options. Do not give up.”

And so with the Peraltas’ unwavering faith, they checked and double-checked all the fertility centres around Dubai.

“It was with the Bourne Hall na napalagayan ko ang sarili ko (I felt at peace),” Josephine said, adding that in 2016, they decided on the shared-risk programme of the facility and paid Dhs68,000 cash for the three-cycle fertility package.

The shared-risk fertility package comes with a 50 per cent money back guarantee, if unsuccessful.

Josephine said: “We do not mind paying so much. We are now a family and that is all that matters. We have long been waiting for our baby. That happiness I felt when I first held her in my hands.”

Incidentally, Kristen Keona Peralta and her parents are the first successful IVF shared-risk programme case of the fertility centre.

Josephine immediately got pregnant from the first of three IVF cycles.

On others’ opinion that they let science interfere, Josephine, a Catholic, expressed hope that they would not be misjudged.

On the IVF procedure, Josephine and Cornelio went for their respective check-ups with Dr Shazia Magray, as it has been proven globally that 50 per cent of infertility cases are because of men’s health or condition.

The individual check-ups revealed that aside from hypothyroidism and PCOS, Josephine was also suffering from Hypovitaminosis D or low Vitamin D levels.

Magray, who sub-specialised in fertility because she wants to help couples become parents, explained: “Vitamin D check-up is a routine check-up in infertility cases. Egg quality is not as great as in a woman with an optimal level of Vitamin D.”

A research in 2016 had revealed that Hypovitaminosis D among men is associated with “poor semen quality and testosterone levels.”

Moreover on infertility cases amongst women, “Several studies have forged a strong relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and infertility, particularly with respect to IVF failure. The active form of Vitamin D – calcitriol – not just controls the oestrogen content in a woman, but many other genes that are involved in embryo implantation.”

Saying that Vitamin D helps in fighting infections during pregnancy, Magray added: “Vitamin D supplementation also contributes to egg cell maturation in women affected by PCOS while its deficiency worsens hormonal imbalance, making them prone to miscarriage.”

She also said: “Higher Vitamin D levels in couples significantly improve the IVF rate of success compared to those with lower levels. Sufficient intake helps produce high-quality eggs during IVF.”

Asked if she and Cornelio still want to have more babies, Josephine said: “The doctor said I could have another baby. Whether it is natural or IVF, we do not know.”

Magray advised couples with difficulty having babies after one year of marriage to seek medical consultation.

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