Garbharakshambigai Fertility Clinic

GFC - Garbharakshambigai Fertility Clinic is situated in a 4 storied building at the United India Colony, Kodambakkam , Chennai. The clinic is well connected by Local train (Parrakum Rail - Tamil for Flying Train), city bus and off course auto's & taxi's.

Dr. Jayam Kannan (said to be 2nd in ranking of fertility experts next to Dr Kamala Selvaraj) is the one incharge behind the show at GFC. Her daughter Dr. Priya Kannan also works fulltime at the clinic. The clinic is also supported by a few junior doctors. (Dr. Shameem, Dr. Vanita, Dr. Kavitha & a few others ). A male doctor, Dr. Aruna Giri also comes in once a week usually on Thursdays to conduct CASA. (Computer Aided Semen Analysis)

The clinic is also supported well with nurses both duing the day and night. GFC has in house pharmacy, pathology, Blood collection center, X- Ray , Ultrasound, OT, ICU etc.,

The ground level has the foyer, Pharmacy, Pathology lab, Blood collection, Scanning center, Wash room and a waiting area for visitors.

The first floor has the reception, I believe the OT is there as well, JK's Office (Jayam Kannan), couple more doctor's office. The second floor has about 10 rooms for patients coming out of OT or other treatment that they are going through.

The Third floor has the ICU and the accounts department so I am told, I have not been up there as of yet. The building has a good lift, used mainly for the patients, broad stair case, and a well ventilated sitting area by the reception.

This is about the place and the people in short. In a few more days I will give more details about other things at GFC so you know what to expect.

On my next post I will give out my experiences with GFC. I have searched the web a lot about JK's clinic and have not come with much information. I am starting this so if any of you are planning to get there can ask questions or share your experiences with others.

*** The picture attached here is the Gopuram of the Garbharakshambigai Temple in Thirukkarugavur . We visited this temple in July 06.

Visit What to expect on your first visit at G.F.C.
This blog is a journal of our experiences at GFC and in no way should form an opinion about GFC, the doctors or their working policy. Please consult the GFC clinic to answer your questions.

Map & Picture

Map - GFC Clinic Koddambakkam

Click on the picture for a larger image

Picture - GFC Clinic at Koddambakkam, Chennai

Click on the picture for larger image

4, 6th Cross Street, United India Colony,
Kodambakkam, Chennai - 600 024.
Ph.No: 24844718 / 24728875 / 680
8-B, Ramarayar Street,
Tennur, Trichy - 620 017.
Ph.No: 0431 - 5529521, 2742999
Working Hours:
Emergency 24 Hours (Needs to be verified!)
Dr. Jayam Kannan: Mon - Wed: 8 AM - 1 PM for Consultation in Chennai.
Dr. Priya Kannan: Pretty Much all Days
Dr. Shameem: Pretty Much all Days
The junior doctors must have some kind of rotation schedule.

What to Expect on your First visit at GFC

One of the first things you should do is to make a phone call and get an appointment to vist them. They will take some of your personal details like name and phone number and give you a time, usually this is the very next day or if you call early in the morning it can happen the same day.

If you are new to Chennai and have never been to GFC, it's best to grab direction from the clinic. I will post direction to the place in some time, but for now, make do with what they provide you and when you reach near the clinic ask any auto driver. Ask for Chandra Bhavan. It's behind that.

Ok so you are there, the security guy is very particular to make sure you enter your name and purpose of visit into a little book.

The reception is on the first floor. Take the stairs, you will get looks if you took the elevator, remember it's only for patients. Also make sure that your cell phone is on silent mode.

You made it to the reception, introduce yourself and you will be asked to be seated, find a spot under the fan or in the back by the window, it can get hot during dayytime. When your name is called expect to fill out a few forms and if you do end up having to ask questions the folks at the reception are quite easy to help you out provided they are not swamped with other patients. Just fill it out the best you can.

Once the form is filled you are asked to be seated and then a nurse will yell out your name. She will check your height, weight, BP & Pulse for the both of you. It's best that the both of you are there or you will be delaying your own treatment, so ladies drag your husbands even if they are a little ashamed!

Ah! don't expect to see DR Jayam Kannan on your first visit. Your case history will be taken by one of the junior doctors. If you are at the clinic on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday you can see Dr Jayam Kannan that is if she is not overloaded which always is the case. (There are people more desperate who have been taking treatment for over a year or more, so be patient)

It's best that both of you are together as they would prefer this when taking your case history. I would suggest be truthful because they will treat you for that. If you end up covering up it's going to delay your own treatment and the end result.
When you are done with your case history the junor doctor will recommend a few tests well majority of them on the sheet that they have ranging from general blood, urine, glucose tolerence test, genetic typing for men CASA (Computer Aided Semen Analysis) and various blood and unire culture. A HIV test will also be done with the blood sample that you provide.

They will send you back to the reception to organize time for your tests. You can decide when you want to take the tests. For some of the test they have specific days. They are pretty good at explaining all of that but I would suggest you be double sure and even scribble on a piece of paper. You don't want to go home and be in doubt.

All the charges are delt with cash only, so if you are planning to take all the test be ready to shell out about Rs 10000.00 (ten thousand rupees) It does end up to that amount. There is no facility of any cheque or credit card. Carry cash always when you visit GFC.

You will be given a identity card usually in the name of the wife. That is it! you head home and wait for the tests and the test results before you see Dr Jayam Kannan.

About Us

June 2007 - July 2007

We tied the knot in 2001. After about a year into the marriage we both started seriously looking towards starting a family. We were pretty sure that here we start and 9 months down the road we would have our bundle of joy. Little did we know that 6 years would have passed by and we are still at square 1.

At first there were the missed periods going from 40 - 45 days and the lab results would come negative and we would feel that it will happen sooner or later and we have so much time at hand. Funny enough the doctor we were seeing at first a general physician said "Don't worry - take the dog for a walk" It meant don't worry relax and thing will fall in place. 6 months passed by taking the dog for a walk and nothing seemed to come out of it. Around us we would see every one else reproducing left, right & center!!! Not that we were not happy for them it was this notion of not being able to produce one yourself.

We decided to see a gynecologist and went through a bunch of tests, scans and what not. Every thing was normal. This went on with added use of the ovulation predictor and the basal body temperature etc. Still no joy !!! Finally all that this doctor could offer us was referring us to an infertility expert.

The appointment for the infertility expert took us a long 8 months!!! Once there and a quick check revealed PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). The doctor said don't worry we can fix this and hence started the first dose of medication. A few months passed by and our hopes would go high. At the end of it the result was negative.

The next step was to go for heavier doses of medication with IUI. First time this was done bang! The results came positive. We were so overwhelmed by the result and prayed to the almighty that finally there was light at the end of the tunnel. A week later we had something else in store. Miscarriage!!! Feels why give it when you are going to take it away. It was a very stressful time for the both of us coming to terms that we just lost our first child. I guess nature has its own way.

Subsequent IUI did not bear any results. We took a break for 2 months off. Wanted to take the stress off but not being able to have a child would come and haunt us every time. It is quite simple to think to shut yourself off but every time you see a family together you just can’t but get stressed about the fact that you are still yet to experience this.

We can try and control our emotions but there is a society that keeps catching up to us. You try to ward off all comments but in the back of your mind it keeps coming back.

Very close friends & family who were very supportive of what we were going though tried to help in their own unique way by giving moral support and to get our minds off it with vacation trips, movies, party's etc. It also did come with some suggestions of a possible second opinion or alternate medicine.

We decided to change our geographical location and headed to a place where we could meet the doctor often and at the same time be close to dear ones to get all the support we would get from them.

This is when one day while watching TV, Dr Jayam Kannan happened to answer questions on one of the programs. Just a week ago we had visited the Garbharakshambigai temple. It stuck us that may be this is some kind of a sign that this is where it we would get what we are so eagerly waiting for.

So with any new doctor we repeated all the tests, scans etc one more time. It almost feels as if all the data you have with you collected through the rough years are of no use??? Nevertheless beggars can't be choosers so we went ahead with it.

It's been a year now in GFC and we have reached a point where we are classed as unexplained fertility/infertility. In short it means there is nothing wrong with you but we are not sure what is wrong!!! Make sense... bet it did to me.

As I write this we are at a point where we are headed to the next horizon, IVF coupled with ICSI.

February 2008

It's been a while since I updated this. I left it when we finished our counseling with the doctor to go for IVF coupled with ICSI. Honestly it has been quite an experience from then to now. First we took a break for a month that was much needed from all the treatment that was going on prior to getting initiated for IVF.

We took a trip to Mysore and the surrounding area for a week. On our way from Bangalore to Mysore we stopped mid way about 40 Minutes out of Bangalore and visited a temple. The presiding deity there is Sri Navaneeta Krishna.

Sri Navaneeta Krishna

It is said that if you pray here you are sure to be blessed with a child. You pray that when become parents you will come back with the child and also gift Krishna with a cradle. You can read about the temple and the deity on the link provided above.

The trip was quite a stress buster and we prepared ourselves for the next phase. The emotional stress was going to be more than the financial part so you have to be prepared to balance both of it and on top of it try to live a life.

I would not go into a lot of detail about the financial part of the IVF / ICSI treatment as it would depend from case to case but we were asked to be prepared for an expense around the Rs 1 Lakh to Rs 1.20 Lakh range. There is whole list of protocol that you need to follow leading up to the start of the treatment which is well laid out at GFC. It is all written down neatly and you would know what to do. You will need to deposit some amount of money before hand so they can import some "media" in which the eggs and sperms will grow outside the body.

We started the process of IVF / ICSI starting with Follicular Stimulating Hormone and then follicular injections & scans to see how many eggs you are getting from both the ovaries. The next step was to go for Egg Retrieval or also called egg pickup. This is a day procedure under anesthesia & ultrasound guidance. Once this is done the sperm samples are also to be given. The doctor or the embryologist in our case Dr. Priya Kannan)goes ahead and starts the ICSI process where in one sperm is injected into one egg to form one embryo. So like that all the eggs that were retrieved would have formed an embryo using the ICSI process. These embryos would be placed in the media (I think) where they will grow for the next few days.

A couple of days later we were to go in and see how the embryos were doing as they would have to go from one cell division to two then on to four to eight... Some where between six cell to 8 cell is where they will transfer the embryo back into the uterus.

We had 15 embryos and then only six of them were of the good grade which means that they have been dividing as they should. So we were to decide how many of them we would like transferred. This is the trickiest part. So how many do you need? One, two, three, six??? . We thought of taking in four as you have to take a chance that at least one of them will get implanted into the uterus and also risk all four of them implanting. We had thought to leave two to be frozen so we can use this for the next cycle in case this cycle did not go through or for some other couple to use it in case they did could not conceive using their own Egg and sperm.

Now that was our original plan but further to consultation with the doctor we came to know that the survival rate of the frozen embryos is not more than 60% and it was best that we transfer all six of them to extend our chances of the embryo implanting than to go through the who process all over again.

So what if all six of them are implanted and result in a multiple pregnancy?

In case we end up with a multiple pregnancy then there is a procedure called Selective Reduction where in the excess embryo can be removed using a procedure which I will explain later on.

So once the Embryo transfer took place, this was supported by HCG and progesterone injection to ensure that the body is able to give all the support and nourishment to the embryo. It is quite a pain to go through the injections every day or every other day but this was something that needed to be done.

We had to wait till day 32 from the LMP to check for increased levels of HCG to confirm a pregnancy. That day arrived and the result was POSITIVE!!!

Seeing the elevated numbers on the blood test was a boost to our emotions and they were surely running high. We were sure at least one of them is growing in there for sure. The consultation with the doctor revealed that the HCG counts are quite elevated that the chances of multiple pregnancies were good as we originally transferred six embryos.

We had to wait for a couple of days to check actually how many were implanted in the uterus. On the day of the scan and looking at the monitor we could see three little gestational sacs confirming that we were going to have triplets. The joy was tripled but at the same time we were wondering how safe it was going to be to carry all three to the full term and if it will be safe for the mother at the same time.

Our doctor advised us to first make sure that we carry on like this first till we hear a heart beat on all three of them and then decide later on what needs to be done. On day 50 we were able to hear heart beat on all three of the growing embryo.

The toughest decision for us was when we were suggested to go with twins and not triplets which meant that we needed to go with selective reduction. This would mean we have to let go of one embryo to ensure good health for the other two growing embryo and the mother. By this time we were getting used to seeing three healthy embryo on the scan and all the blood work showing all three of them were growing according to plan.

Is it morally and ethically correct to reduce one of the embryo for our benefit? We went with six and we knew the risk we were taking. All the praying and work that had gone into bringing them into this world and then thinking about getting one out was nerve wrecking. This was something that we had to do whether we like it or not.

We were getting used to knowing them as Fetus A, Fetus B & Fetus C. We used to look at their reports and compare one another with their development, heart beat, lengths etc. We were getting used to all three of them.

Between week 10 & week 12 we had to go for selective reduction and that was done outside of the GFC clinic. The name of the place was Media Center on Dr. Radhakrishna Road, very close to the City Center. We got an appointment there with the doctor and waited. We were taken in and we could see A, B & C moving about and by now had a visible head, hand & feet. We were going to let one go, but which one? Was it a girl or a boy? We did not know.
The doctor at the clinic incharge of performing the selective reduction procedure made sure that we were comfortable and ensure to not feel guilt about it. His words were quite comforting to us and we followed what ever he asked us to do.

The procedure was done in about 15 minutes and we went home. The reports said that we now had Fetus A, Fetus B with fetal movement and heart beat & no Fetal movement on Fetus C. (There will be a separate post on Selective Reduction)

We looked at each other and hiding each other emotions on what was going on but it was something we had to go through. Lot would think that it is un ethical to do something like this but it was something we had to do for the other two and the mother or we end up risking all four of them.

We had to get back to GFC for being in observation for the next few days after the procedure just in case something came up. It was a quiet time in GFC with the loss of C and we mourned but slowly we realized that we had to cheer up as it would affect the development of the other two and life has to go on.

A constant monitoring of the HCG levels and progesterone levels were important during the development of the fetus and that was supported by the supporting injections that were administered. The first step was to get through the first trimester.

Once that was done the second trimester was with the belly coming out showing the signs of pregnancy and we shared the good news with friends and relatives. This was also accompanied with increased cramped space for the two growing fetus inside pushing all the other organs up into the rib cage. The pain at times was excruciating but some that we had to go through.

Days passed by in anticipation for the arrival of the twins. The third trimester was uncomfortable with the size of the tummy and along with it the water retention. Walking for over 5 meter required a rest for a few seconds before continuing.

The day arrived on 4th March 2008 when on a hot morning the early signs of labor showed up. Our bags were all packed a week before expecting it to happen any time. We managed to reach the hospital in about 10 minutes from home. After a quick check up the doctors said "your babies are coming home". With that stated the panic of running down the stairs getting all the medical supplies, reservation for blood etc.

We reached the hospital at about 11:30 Am and the babies were delivered through C - Section at 1:37 Pm & 1:38 PM. One boy & one girl. What more can one ask for at this time.

At the first sight of them all the pain of going through the entire process of treatment totally disappeared.

We have named them Siddharth & Keerthana. Their birth weight was 2.2 Kg & 1.8 Kg respectively. Both of them were taken for Neonatal care at Dr. Mehata's nursing home at Chetpet. The babies came home on the 13th of March 2008.

Various Terminologies

CASA - Computer Aided Semen Analysis

CASA as the name suggest for the Male partner. In simple words it is a test done to check the quality of the little fellows you body makes that need to swim up through the tide and fertilize!!!

The process well is rather simple. You will need to abstain for a couple of days and show up on a Thursday about noon-ish. The place where this test is done is next to the pathology lab. Dr Giri will be the consulting physician. First he will collect your history for his file and also do a small check up.

Then you are asked to take a small plastic jar and head to one of the rooms near by. There you will retrieve your semen. Once this is done you hand it over to him. One point to note here is that while you are busy extracting the little ones there would be another patient consulting with him. So while you are done with this little plastic container in you hand waiting I am sure you would be little embarrassed!!! All you have to do is just knock on the door and drop it on his table.

After about 15 minutes he will call you inside and you will see the little fellows running around on the computer screen.

The whole thing should not take more than 45 minutes at the most.

For More information regarding CASA please refer to the link below.