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Our societies place great importance on conceiving and giving birth to a child. It is a societal norm that adults, especially married couples, start a family, and hence, there is mounting pressure when complications in the process arise like Infertility.
Infertility is a condition of the reproductive system that is characterized by the inability to bear a child through natural ways. The emotional cost associated with infertility is best understood by individuals and couples who have been faced with the condition.
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The World Health Organisation has found that infertility afflicts one in every four couples in developing nations. In individuals and couples who are infertile, an outcome of their problems with reproductive health is an effect on their mental health. Both men and women have been found to have depression, anxiety, and feelings of loss of control, self-confidence, self-esteem, and isolation when they are unable to conceive.
A study conducted in 2016 that comprised 352 women and 274 men going in for treatments related to infertility has found that symptoms for depression are as widespread as 56 percent in women and 32 percent in men. In the same cohort, it was found that 76 percent of women and 61 percent of men had symptoms of anxiety.
It has also been found that women with fertility problems exhibit similar mental trauma as those diagnosed with diseases such as cancer and hypertension. Women who have miscarried in the past are more likely to be anxious about seeing through pregnancy to a successful live birth. Research and available data on the matter is more common about the consequences in women compared to their male counterparts.
The novel coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world has also had a grim impact on couples who were trying to conceive with the help of assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Globally and in India, IVF centres were closed when lockdowns were implemented so that the safety of both patients and staff can be ensured. The move that ensured patient and staff safety also left hundreds of couples stranded in the middle of treatment with no clarity when procedures will resume.
Now, with the second wave of Covid-19 and the increasing number of cases reported every day in the country and lockdowns implemented in different parts, infertile couples seeking treatment may find themselves at a difficult juncture yet again.
A study that was conducted in North America on the pandemic’s effect on the mental health of women between ages 20 and 45 who were undergoing treatment found that 86 percent have observed a negative impact on their mental health and 52 percent have reported clinically significant symptoms for depression. This is true for people whose ART cycles were halted as clinics shut down around the world.
Not only this, research conducted by UK-based polling company Opinium on 533 women has discovered that three in five women who have just begun with their fertility treatment might consider taking intense healthcare. About half of those polled said they were willing to be overmedicated, with the knowledge of cons that include kidney failure, blood clots, and even pregnancy loss.
About seven in 10 women who took on such intensive medication said that they suffered from flashbacks, nightmares and insomnia, all potential symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This has been triggered by the fear that Covid-19 is further shortening their reproductive window.
Although the aforementioned research was performed in countries other than India, the ground reality in our country could not be any different. In India, infertility is not a private medical condition but comes with a host of societal consequences. It is, thus, the only evidence that the inability to conceive naturally or otherwise will cause mental turmoil in couples. Many may even resort to unscientific means to have children.
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Gradually, we are taking small steps towards accepting and living in the new normal. It is, therefore, established that over and above ensuring that couples can meet their reproductive health goals, specialists in ART must also look to ensure that the mental wellbeing of their patients is catered to.
The patients’ mind must be put to ease, not only in terms of their reproductive health but also their mental health with the aid of counselling and proper COVID-19-related standard operating safety procedures. Evidently, in addition to championing the cause of helping couples with their aspirations to have a family, fertility treatment providers also have to champion the cause of easing the mental burden of such individuals. (IANS/AD)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery