Diana Hayden launching the Aster IVF Study

Aster study reveals that infertility cases in Dubai could nearly double by 2030

  • One in five couples in the UAE face fertility issues – a higher figure than in other parts of the world
  • Former Miss World Diana Hayden inaugurates the Aster IVF & Women Clinic
  • Aster IVF & Women Clinic offers specialised IVF treatment: IVF Lite
  • Global IVF market estimated to grow up to US$21.6 billion by 2020

DUBAI, UAE; 29 May 2016: During the inauguration of the Aster IVF & Women Clinic – a speciality clinic launched by Aster DM Healthcare – a study was unveiled revealing that fertility treatments in the UAE need to become easily accessible and affordable to tackle the growing infertility numbers among couples.

The study also mentioned that one in five couples in the UAE face fertility issues – a higher figure than in other parts of the world. Statistics also show that in Dubai alone the incidence of infertile women seeking treatment per year could nearly double from 5,975 cases in 2015 to 9,139 cases by 2030*.

The study findings were launched by former Miss World, actress, philanthropist and author, Diana Hayden, a strong and vocal advocate for the removal of stigmas associated with infertility. Ms. Hayden was in Dubai to launch the Aster IVF & Women Clinic.

Speaking at the opening of the clinic, Alisha Moopen, Executive Director and Group CEO of Aster DM Healthcare, stated that the Aster IVF & Women Clinic was an extension of its speciality care to the families in the communities it operates in.

She said: “As we move into a world of open-source information and rapid socio-economic transformation, perceptions around women and family health are changing. Previous stigmas and misconceptions around infertility are being challenged and replaced by discussions and advice around what the latest fertility treatments are.

“At the Aster IVF & Women Clinic, we believe in creating long-lasting and supportive relationships between our patients and practitioners, offering them the best treatments in the region. The clinic is set to be a space in which couples and families experience empathetic medical care, an approach that makes our patients feel supported.”

Studies reflect that infertility is becoming increasingly common in the region.  As per the Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) latest findings, around 50 per cent of women in the UAE face issues pertaining to infertility.  This is in large part caused by a shifting demographic trend coupled with late marriages, and consequently, late attempts to start a family.

Diana Hayden said: “An increasing number of couples only look to enter parenthood when they feel they are a hundred per cent ready for it. Late marriages have also led to an increase in age at which people opt to have their first child. However due to the decreasing level of hormones with age in both men and women, the reality is that we are witnessing lower rates of fertility.

“Yet in today’s world of medical advances, one is able to ensure that it is possible for women to conceive and couples to experience parenthood at their convenience. This is provided they have the best treatments and procedures of IVF available to them, such as the Aster IVF & Women Clinic, Including specialised doctors who are committed to advancing the cause of fertility.”

Another factor associated with rising infertility is obesity, as a high Body Mass Index (BMI) is associated with infertility. The high level of diabetes in the region is another significant factor. According to government health statistics around 25 per cent of adults in the UAE have diabetes and a similar percentage of population is pre-diabetic. Smoking in both men and women has also been suggested as a cause of infertility. Natural conception is twice as difficult for smoking women, as it causes lower sperm counts in men and also reduces the success rates of fertility treatments.

With global, regional and local infertility rates rising, so is the demand for IVF. A United Nations study says that the global IVF market is estimated to grow up to US$21.6 billion by 2020.

Conveniently located in Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai, the Aster IVF & Women Clinic, strives to ensure that all families and couples struggling to give birth have a trusted practitioner and medical space to turn too.  The clinic is also a speciality extension of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department at the Aster Hospital in Mankhool, one of most comprehensive healthcare facilities for women in the country.

Led by internationally recognised specialists with several years of experience in the field of fertility treatments, Aster IVF & Women Clinic promises to provide a holistic approach with a broad spectrum of care that women need during their different phases of life. One of the highlights of the clinic is the IVF Lite treatment, another IVF method used to help couples get pregnant with minimal risks, higher success rate and lower in cost.

Alisha Moopen further explained: “At our hospitals and clinics we have witnessed countless couples nervously seek counsel on how to act on issues of infertility. We hope to turn that uncertainty into a promise to our patients that they no longer have to be stressed, confused or scared as we have the facilities and expertise to treat them well.”

Hence the services offered at the clinic are diverse and adaptable to each individual patient. This includes state-of-the-art Ovulation Induction, recurrent miscarriage screening and therapies, IUI, IVF, ICSI and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Screening using Next Generation Sequencing for 100% 24-chromosome diagnosis including elective PGD-IVF Sex Selection for family-balancing.

In addition to offering expertise in IVF, the Women’s health speciality, also part of the Aster IVF & Women Clinic, was designed to make the clinic a one stop exclusive facility focusing on women’s health. The Women clinic provides holistic medical and paramedical services for women to assist them in every medical need.

Aster IVF & Women Clinic also offers gynaecological services, investigation and treatment related to menstrual disorders, treatment for Urinary Dysfunction, Physiotherapy, Wellness, Yoga and Cosmetology. The team consists of highly trained doctors, physiotherapists, nurses and technicians who collectively work towards the aim of improving the overall health of women.

Aster Hospitals & Clinics also conducted a CME on the latest advances in Assisted Reproductive Technology two days prior to the opening of the IVF clinic, in which highly experienced IVF care professionals from all around the world dispensed great knowledge on various topics in the fields of IVF to the UAE gynaecology fraternity. Aster Hospitals & Clinics will also be conducting periodic education programs for gynaecologists & obstetricians to raise the education amongst specialist and empower them to conduct work related in this field.


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Medical centres in Dubai

Clinics or medical centres are healthcare facilities that are primarily concerned with the treatment and care of outpatients i.e. patients that need less than 24 hours of care. Medical centres in Dubai can be looked upon as subsidiaries of hospitals in terms of the nature of their establishment, despite not offering many laboratory or surgical facilities to their patients. The city of Dubai itself, with its large density of population, is home to numerous medical centres that offer excellent services and treatments to the residents of the city. Medical centres in Dubai have grown considerably over the last 5 years and this has been in direct correlation to the increasing population of locals and expatriates. In fact, according to the Dubai Health Authority, the number of outpatient visits to medical centres in Dubai increased by 12.9% from 2014 to 2015. Furthermore, 44.8% of all the outpatient visits in 2015 were made to clinics and medical centres in Dubai.
Medical centres in Dubai play a crucial role in providing the residents with accurate and quick healthcare services. More often than not, residents prefer to visit the medical centres that are closest to where they live, and because of the sheer numbers of medical centres in Dubai, every sector has enough options that residents can choose from. Medical centres in Dubai serve as the first point of diagnosis and treatment of a person’s injury or illness and save the patients a lot of trouble in commuting and waiting. With the advent of Expo 2020 around the corner, the city of Dubai expects its population to continue to grow. And this growth will most certainly be mirrored in the number and the quality of medical centres in Dubai.


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Pediatrician in Dubai

Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the care and treatment of newborns, infants and children up to the age of 14.

In the mind of a parent, nothing holds greater priority than the health of their child. In a city like Dubai, despite its small size, there was, on average, a baby born every 3.5 hours in 2015 alone. The last decade has seen a sharp decline in the infant mortality rate, especially in developed countries like the UAE, as well as a rise in the yearly birth rate. These two factors have initiated the need to expand the pediatric facilities and services offered across the city.

However, it isn’t enough that merely the number of pediatricians in Dubai increase. It is also imperative that these doctors are experienced and qualified to expertly diagnose and treat an infant. In order to ensure that your child gets the best possible treatment from their pediatrician in Dubai here are a few things that you can keep in mind when choosing which pediatrician you should take your child to.

  • Location matters: When deciding on a pediatrician in Dubai for your infant, one of the first things that you need to ensure is that the doctor’s office is relatively close to where you stay or where your child goes to nursery/school. No matter how good a doctor may be, a commute to JLT when you stay in Bur Dubai would be detrimental to your child’s health in the case of an emergency.
  • Ensure that the pediatrician is covered under your insurance: Despite the advent of mandatory health insurance for all employees in Dubai, your insurance provider may make an exception to the doctor you have chosen to treat your child. In this case, go through the list of pediatrician in Dubai that are covered by your insurance and seek out one that is the right fit for your child’s healthcare needs.
  • Get Recommendations: It is always advisable to get recommendations from your family and close friends when looking for a pediatrician in Dubai. Taking the advice of someone you trust could bring you one step closer to finding the right doctor for your child. Furthermore, it would allow you to save precious time by considerably shortening your options for a pediatrician in Dubai.
  • Talk to the doctor beforehand: Prior to making a choice on the pediatrician in Dubai that will end up treating your child, it is important to have a frank and honest discussion with them about what exactly you are looking for in your child’s doctor. It could be availability, experience, cultural similarity or even age. Having an open discussion would help you alleviate any doubts that you might have and help you settle for the best pediatrician in Dubai for your child.

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Hypertension Day

  1. What is hypertension?

Hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure (in adults: >140/90 in at least 2 consecutive separate readings/days.

  1. Are there any symptoms or signs that show blood pressure is too high?

Patient with hypertension is usually an asymptomatic/ mostly symptomless condition, however, a patient with hypertension may experience severe headache/ nape pain, severe anxiety, vision problems, shortness of breath and nose bleeds.

  1. How does stress affect blood pressure, and what can we do to lower stress levels?

Stress would make a person do unhealthy practices like overeating, drinking alcohol and poor sleeping habits that can cause high blood pressure. Ways to avoid stress: Have some hobbies/ sports. Connect with other people.

  1. High Blood Pressure: Why Prevention and Control are urgent and important?

Risk factors of hypertension are usually modifiable/ preventable such as lifestyle and dietary factors (e.g. Physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco use, and a diet high in sodium which is present in processed and fatty foods). It’s very important to start precautionary measures because long-standing hypertension could lead to a serious medical condition such as Heart failure and Heart attack, Aneurysm, stroke and kidney failure.

Another risk factor which is nonmodifiable is Genetic.

  1. Does hypertensionoccur in children? If yes how and what should be done to prevent it?

Hypertension may occur in all stages of life. It may occur in children with kidney, cardiac, endocrine/ hormonal problems and in certain tumors. It may also be caused by chronic, poorly managed stress. Some conditions that can lead to hypertension cannot be prevented, however, observing healthy lifestyle, hypertension might be prevented. Measures such as consuming low fat, low salt diet (avoid consuming fast foods, junk foods), having some sports, aerobic/ isotonic exercise and weight reduction for those obese children could decrease the chance of having hypertension in children.



Dr. Lezel Mahinay Baliad

General Practitioner

Aster Bahrain





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High Blood Pressure – A Silent Killer

High blood pressure is a common condition which in the long-term cause health problems by causing damage to various organs which used to be called as Target Organ Damage. Commonly Heart, Kidneys, Eyes and Brain gets affected, however, the damage can be widespread.

As per one of the surveys conducted by Dubai Health Authority (DHA), One 1 in 15 individuals in Dubai is diagnosed with hypertension (6.7%) and there is a little gender difference in its prevalence which means male and female have an equal chance of developing high blood pressure.

There is a strong association between age and hypertension. As the age progresses the chances of developing high blood pressure increases. In the same survey,12.1% population in the age group of 40-59 years had high blood pressure as compared to 31% population in the 60+ age group.

Knowledge about this disease and taking preventive steps at the right time are important in managing this common health problem.

A silent Disease

One can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and target organs continues. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and Kidney Diseases.

Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work on it with your doctor to control it.

The common symptoms of high Blood Pressure are headaches, dizziness ,shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe stage. However, these can be the  warning signs and one should at least get Blood Pressure monitored if they occur.

When you visit a Doctor and Get BP measured:

Whenever you visit your doctor, one should preferably Wear clothing so that the blood pressure cuff can fit around your arm properly.

One should avoid caffeinated food and drinks right before measuring blood pressure. You may want to use the toilet before having your blood pressure measured. Holding urine can cause spuriously high readings of blood pressure.

One should make a note of regularly taken medicines as few of them may cause high blood pressure.Inform your doctor of these medications.

Because appointments can be brief, and because there’s often a lot to discuss, it’s a good idea to note down everything before an appointment .

Risk factors

Various conditions make a patient vulnerable to high blood pressure. Some of them cannot be modified and some can be modified by changing lifestyle. It is interesting to note that modifying lifestyle has got therapeutic benefits.

It’s important to make note of conditions which one can modify to control high blood pressure. Some of them are – obesity, physical inactivity, Use of tobacco, excessive salt (sodium) in diet, Alcohol intake and Stress. Of course, there are other factors which one can not change like age,race etc.

Blood Pressure treatment goals

It is a very common concern of patients who are on treatment for high blood pressure that what should be their Target blood pressure level.

It is important to understand that naturally occurring levels of blood pressure and levels brought down with medicines are different entities.

Although 120/80 mm Hg or lower is the ideal blood pressure goal, it is not clear if medications are needed to bring down Blood pressure to that level. However, Natural occurrence of this level is a good thing.

The patients on medicines should have target levels as follows –

  • For a healthy adult age 60 or older : Less than150/90 mm Hg
  • For a healthy adult younger than age 60 : Less than140/90 mm Hg
  • If the patient has had chronic kidney disease, diabetes or coronary artery disease or are at high risk of coronary artery disease : Less than140/90 mm Hg
  • For the patients age 60 or older, use of medications may produce lower systolic blood pressure (such as less than 140 mm Hg), the medications won’t need the change unless they cause negative effects on the health or quality of life which patient can bring to the notice of the treating doctor.

Life Style Modifications

It is important to understand that lifestyle modifications have got therapeutic value and they should continue irrespective of medication use or occurrence of normal values on medications.The common lifestyle recommendations for healthy heart and blood pressure are-

Eat a healthy diet

The patient should take less salt and adopt Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH diet) which emphasizes on an intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy foods. One should eat less saturated fat and Trans fat.

A lower sodium level — 1,500 milligrams (mg) a day — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who are black or who have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

Maintain a healthy weight/Increase physical activity

One should try and achieve at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination or moderate and vigorous activity.

Limit alcohol

Alcohol can raise blood pressure even in healthy adults. If one chooses to drink alcohol, it should be done in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

Quit smoking

Tobacco injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries causing increased blood pressure and heart disease.

It’s always better to stitch in time to save nine. Knowledge is liberation and knowing about hypertension and means to avoid it can be a way to attain good health. We should try and adopt the policy of Prevention is better than cure.

Dr. Sachin Upadhyaya

Specialist (DNB) Cardiologist 

Aster Jubilee Medical Complex, Bur Dubai


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