Ask a Fertility Specialist: Dr Sumithra Devi Valiapan from Sunfert International Malaysia

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: Obstetrics & GynaecologyAsk a Fertility Specialist: Dr Sumithra Devi Valiapan from Sunfert International Malaysia
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan asked 3 years ago
I am Dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan, Fertility Specialist at Sunfert International, one of Malaysia's most technologically advanced IVF centres. I obtained my medical degree from the University of Andalas in West Sumatra, Indonesia and was in government service when I pursued my Master of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the University of Malaya in 2007. A recipient of the Excellence in Service Award 2008 by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, I earned my second Master’s degree in Reproductive Medicine from the University of New South Wales, Australia. I obtained my Fellowships in Reproductive Medicine from several notable institutions locally and abroad including Fertility Associates of New Zealand and continued to practice as an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist in Kuala Lumpur Hospital before joining Sunfert International. I am an active presenter of my work in both national and international O&G conferences. My biggest joy comes from helping my patients attain parenthood. Learn more about Sunfert International here: Learn more about me here: I am excited to be here to share/discuss Fertility with everyone. Whether you've got questions about what the IVF process is like, how you can find out how fertile you are and plan ahead for pregnancy, or you want advice, ask me anything! === Want to ask a question? Submit your question at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget to include your name and email address to get notified when the doctor answers your question.
15 Answers
Hikmah Hadi answered 3 years ago
I am 7 weeks pregnant. I feel nauseous all the time, especially after eating. I get worried about vomiting and after a while I really do throw up. I can’t take medicines and vitamins. I am worried this will affect my pregnancy. What should I do? Thank you
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Hi there, thank you for the question. Congratulations on your pregnancy! Nausea and some vomiting are very common in pregnancy. This is easily controlled in most cases by slight dietary changes. Avoid oily, spicy and strong tasting food for the time being. Cut down on coffee, tea and milk. Eat smaller portions but more frequently. Drink small amounts a a time but remain well hydrated, drink more frequently.

Ginger based drinks and food can help relieve some nausea and vomiting. You might need to see your obstetrician who can prescribe some medications for the vomiting. Nausea and vomiting is also easily controlled by medications. Take the medicine at least half an hour to an hour before meals.

The nausea and vomiting will usually resolve after the 1st trimester. It occurs due to pregnancy hormonal changes in your body. If you're still unable to keep down your food, then your doctor will give you drips and injections to control the vomiting.

Hope you have a safe pregnancy.

Kartika Sari answered 3 years ago
Doctor, can I have twins if I do an IVF program? I plan to do IVF next month. Is there any chance I can conceive twins?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Hi there Madam Kartika,

Thank you for your question. The number of embryos that are replaced can determine the number of pregnancies. However, not all embryos will implant all the time. For example, if 2 embryos are replaced, there are 3 possibilities: pregnancy at all
2. twin pregnancy
3. single baby

This is because not all embryos formed will be normal. There are other factors that determine quality of the embryos and implantation success. For example mother's health,womb quality and sperm quality.

Good luck with your IVF treatment.

Rafael Maulana answered 3 years ago
Doctor, is it safe for a 15 weeks pregnant mother to drink dates and palm juice mixed with honey?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Thank you for the interesting question. Yes dates are safe in pregnancy. So, enjoy your dates.

Puspita answered 3 years ago
Doctor, after stopping the monthly dose of family planning injections, will a woman become fertile immediately?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Generally it takes a few months for women to be fertile after the monthly birth control injections. However, some women do ovulate immediately after the end of their monthly dose, therefore women not keen for pregnancy are encouraged to use alternative contraceptives if stopping the monthly injections.

Murniwasti answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I did IVF 4 months ago but failed. It is my second failure. What are some of the causes of my two failed attempts, Doc?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

I'm sorry to hear of your failed IVF cycles. There are many reasons why IVF might fail. I need complete information on you, your husband, both your IVF cycles, the quality of your embryos and the condition of your womb before I can give you an appropriate answer. The reasons IVF fail are different for each couple. However, your Fertility Specialist should be able to go through each of these with you. There are also tests that can be done to determine possible causes.

Briefly though, IVF success depends on the health of both partners, the sperm and eggs' quality, the age of the woman, the quality and genetics of the embryos, the appearance of the womb and, the quality and receptivity of the womb's lining. Success also depends on the ability of the scientists in the laboratory.

Good luck next time, don't give up.

Jenny lover answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I had sex without using condoms 6 months ago. I had an HIV test since then and the result was negative. I want to ask - is the result valid? Because I am planning for pregnancy and I want to clear my doubts about the test result.
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

If you're planning for natural pregnancy with the same partner whom you had sex with before, then there is no need for a HIV test at all.

If you had sex with a different partner, then a negative HIV test 3 months after the last encounter and no subsequent unprotected intercourse with the same person after that, should cover the window period for HIV.

lulu answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I am 32 years old and have not conceived since I got married 10 years ago. This year, I managed to get pregnant but was diagnosed with molar pregnancy. Is this dangerous? And can I still conceive after curettage?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

I'm sorry to hear of your molar pregnancy. Molar pregnancies are usually not dangerous unless you ignore proper medical care and surveillance that your doctor will advise you to follow.

Recovering from molar pregnancy will not reduce your baseline chances of conception. However, you need to avoid pregnancy until your doctor says the molar pregnancy has resolved and it is safe to get pregnant again. I suggest you see a fertility specialist for your infertility. You are young and have a good chance of successful fertility treatment. The success rates of fertility treatment decline significantly with advancing female age.

Good luck and best wishes.

Opi answered 3 years ago
I have been married for 7 years, but have not conceived till now. Is it me or my husband who is infertile? Should I take my husband to a doctor?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Fertility assessment must always involve both partners. 30% of the time, there's combined male and female factors causing the infertility. Therefore, yes it's prudent to go together for a fertility screen and support each other throughout the process while never assigning blame to either partner.

Good luck trying.

febrina answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I am currently going through my second pregnancy which is twenty weeks old. I often feel cramps, but fortunately without spotting. I've also lost my appetite. Is this a sign of any disorders, Doc?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

I'm not sure what your gestational age is currently, however you might be experiencing braxton hicks contractions, they're quite harmless. On the other hand, if your contractions are regular and getting stronger, you need to see your obstetrician to rule out premature labour or some form of infection. If you've had any abdominal surgeries before, the pain might also be related to the previous surgery.

It is quite common to have appetite changes in pregnancy. It is more important to weigh you regularly to ensure appropriate weight gain. Regular scans of your baby is also necessary to plot its growth.

I hope you have a safe pregnancy and delivery.

Tita answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I am 25 years old and single. I haven’t had my menstruation cycle for 6 months now and I consulted an OBGYN. She said it is likely I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I read online that PCOS can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Is this true, Doctor? I plan to get married next year. Would I have issues getting pregnant?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Firstly, we need to find the cause of your menstrual disorder. PCOS is one of the possible causes. Gynaecologists can easily diagnose pcos. You also need some blood tests and a scan to look for other causes of menstrual problems. Management also depends on your weight.

If it is PCOS, you can get pregnant easily with some lifestyle changes, dietary modification and simple medication.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

Dian Ayu answered 3 years ago
Doc, what is the success rate of IVF? Is it possible to fail? What are the influencing factors?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Ivf has the highest success rates compared to other treatments. Unfortunately, yes, ivf can fail. Many couples will need a few ivf cycles to achieve pregnancy.

Health of the couple, dietary pattern of the couple, exercise, sperm and egg quality, age of tbe couple, medications used, treatment protocol, laboratory quality, skill of the doctor all determine ivf success.

Please visit my Facebook page "Dr sumithra devi valiapan, fertility specialist" for detailed information in a few videos that's in Malay. There are videos on all your questions: how to improve success rates and why treatment fails, as well as dietary advice.

Good luck in your ivf cycle.

ayas answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I have 3 sons. I want a daughter. Is it true that certain foods, or having sex at certain times, can help me to get a daughter? Now that I am 32 years old, I worry I don’t have much time left to get a daughter.
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Congratulations on having 3 boys. There isn't any specific food, time for intercourse or sexual position that offers guaranteed success in getting the gender you want.

Ivf and pgs can help, but you need to find a clinic that'll do sex selection.

Good luck trying for a girl.

Yuni answered 3 years ago
Good morning, Doctor. I have been married for 15 years but haven’t had any children. I am currently 40 years old. Is it still possible for me to conceive? I have done everything but there have been no results. I also want to ask - why does my husband’s sperm flow out of me continuously if we had sex in the morning? Please help me to understand the causes. Thank you for your answer.
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

Have you consulted a fertility specialist? your chances of successful fertility treatment will depend on a few factors which a fertility specialist can discuss with you. your doctor will also suggest the most appropriate fertility treatment for you after examining you and your husband. you should not delay getting fertility treatment as the success rates drop significantly with your increasing age.

it is normal for semen to liquefy and flow out of you. that doesn't mean the sperm is coming out. sperm will swim upwards into your uterus, it's only the seminal fluid which flows out.

Serly answered 3 years ago
Good afternoon, Doc. I have been having headaches since I gave birth. My sight is twisted and my feet cramp up often. What do you think the cause is, Doc?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

When did you deliver? The most common causes of giddiness and cramps are a low blood hemoglobin (red blood cells that carry oxygen in our body) count or abnormal electrolytes eg. sodium, potassium, calcium. these are easily diagnosed. Please see your obstetrician or family doctor. Do not delay finding the cause of your ailment.

Dea Mulyawati answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I am 5 weeks pregnant. These few weeks I have a recurring headache and often take medicine. Is it going to affect my fetus?
dr. Sumithra Devi Valiapan replied 3 years ago

You should see your obstetrician if your frequent headaches persist, to look for the cause. you must ensure whatever medication you consume in pregnancy is safe for your baby, and has no adverse effect on your pregnancy. read the labels that come with the medication or ask your pharmacist or doctor.

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