SEEDING HOPE IN BARREN LEAVES!
Elegant, classy and energetic – These are some of the words that define Dr. Sujata Kar, a name synonymous with IVF treatment in Odisha and eastern India. This gold medallist Gynaecologist is known for her hardwork and persistence amongst her patients. A very well travelled lady, she has been looking after the IVF training wing and infertility management at Kar Clinic & Hospital for the last two decades. We spoke to the doctor to understand the intricacies of infertility management in the state and the way ahead, in an exclusive interview for Coffee Bytes.
Tell us about your academic career and your journey so far?
My academic career started in 1992, when I completed my post graduation from SCB Medical College and then I went to Manipal, Kasturba Gandhi College. Then I came back to Bhubaneswar and began practicing here. It was a humble beginning, with a small clinic and one or two patients a day. I started as a general gynaecologist and after the year 2000, when both my kids were little grown up I started my practice in the advanced fields of gynaecology, that was Laproscopic surgery and In-Vitro Fertilisation. When I started, there were no IVF centers in Odisha and there were very few female gynaecologists trained in laproscopy in India at that time. I started my training in IVF at the Harley Street Invertility Center in London and have trained under Professor Paul Deffron, one of the pioneers of IVF, ICSI in the world, in Belgium. After that I went to Kolkata and assisted Dr. B. N. Chakraborty, the doyen of IVF in India. I then established our IVFclusive interview for Coffee Bytes.center in 2003 and had my first life birth in 2005, from then on it has been a smooth sailing.
Dr. Sujata and every doctor in her team strives to give the best treatment to whosoever comes to Kar Clinic & Hospitals. Her motto of life towards serving the society is worth emulating. We wish more power and glory to such inspirational doctors.
Note: Read about the stem cell therapy being introduced by Kar Clinic & Hospitals in our upcoming issue.
What is the major reason for the growing number of infertile men and women throughout the world?
important reasons is delaying child births and some of the lifestyle diseases like endiometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCO), tubal factors and infections. For men, it is mostly environmental toxicants which has led to drastic and visible decrease in male fertility, globally. Endocrine disruptors which are found in various kind of chemicals present in the food that you eat, clothes that you wear, invisible radiations from mobile phones, laptops and bluetooth devices have all contributed towards the burgeoning infertility amongst both men & women, equally.
Why did you choose infertility management ?
It was one of the most advanced and glamorous fields of gynaecology and looked very lucrative and most importantly, there were not many experts in this field.
What motivates you in this field?
I like to read a lot and learn a lot, that has been my nature. I have got into it just for the satisfaction of learning new things in this field.
What are the risks associated with Assisted Reproductive Technology?
It is primarily a safe technique, but in the course of the treatment a woman needs to take large doses of drugs and injections to stimulate her ovaries, to produce large number of eggs. So there is a risk of ovarian hyper stimulation or ovarian cancer. But the doctors should be able to handle that. The chances are very less, lot of research is going on in this area, to minimise the few risk factors of the process.
What level of treatment can a patient expect at your clinic?
Kar Clinic offers all the available treatment in this field, upto Level- III. We strive to maintain self regulation at our clinic to sustain the standard and quality. We have a reasonably good success rate. We report to a ‘NARI’ (National Art Registry of India) wherein all our cases are reported annually. We are accredited by the ISAR (Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction).
What should a patient look for before choosing an IVF clinic?
We still do not have any board or guidelines for ART in our country. People who come up to me are mainly based on references and word of mouth. The ART bill is still pending to be passed in the parliament.
Can you share some cases which havebeen very challenging in your career?
I have a patient who is 35 year old and has just conceived in the fourth attempt with her sisters frozen eggs after she failed with her own eggs due to the low quality of her eggs. I had another patient who was 38 and during her fourth attempt, she generated four embryos and got pregnant with all four of them. Then we decided to go for foetal reduction at around two months, reduced the number of embryos and retained only two. Then, after a few days when the babies were not viable the lady developed a massive complication, pre- mature rupture of the membrane. She had to be kept in the hospital for one and a half months, we tried everything at our disposal to extend the growth of the baby, atleast for eight months but, at seven and a half months she delivered. Only one of the babies was able to make it.
How do you juggle between being a mom and a professional doctor?
I think its very difficult. I have been able to manage because I reside in a place where I work. The second most important factor has been my husband who has been thoroughly supportive and has shared a lot of my pressures.
How do you rejuvenate yourself?
I attend a lot of workshops and conferences throughout the world for 5 days every year, so when I travel alone I get my peace. I also like to work out and read and watch movies once in a while.
If not a doctor, what would you have been?
An Astronaut, because I was very good at physics.
What has been your philosophy in life?
just want to be simple and avoid things that can make my life complicated.