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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.
ALSO READ Study: Why Is Male Infertility On Rise
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)
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.