Siddhilife ART Centre located in Borivali in Mumbai was created passionately by the founder couple Drs. Kaustubh & Sharda Kulkarni. Both meritorious undergraduate and postgraduate students of Mumbai University. Both of them were trained in Reproductive Medicine in the the knowledge fonts of Europe (Belgium, England, Greece, Germany and France) as well as in Israel Tutored and mentored by the pioneers and stalwarts in Europe, the couple came back, home, to mumbai, to set up one of the first ‘state of the art’, comprehensive infertility facility a decade and half ago. Siddhilife, today, is Certified as an ICMR recognised Centre by the Government of India, Ministry of Health in New Delhi. This is the highest form of recognition in India in the field of infertility treatment. Siddhilife is also ISAR and ISO 2008 approved as a facility of international standards.
More than 10,000 healthy babies conceived and equal number of happy parents bear testimony to the exceptional professional standards that they have achieved in less than 2 decades of existence. Excellence in ART along with a ‘ Heart over head’ approach to patients has helped provide a much better pathway to PARENTHOOD for these desperate infertile couples. With 2 more centres added to the SIDDHI group and few more in the pipeline, they are very dynamic and upbeat about their future.
They believe that treatment should always be specialised but individualised with compassion for the couple and yet should be affordable. Siddhilife embodies this philosophy perfectly. They have been decorated with multiple individual honours, awards and citations both national and international . Awards like the GREAT MINDS OF THE 21st CENTUTY in the field of HUMAN REPRODUCTION awarded to Dr. Kaustubh by the AMERICAN BIOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY in 2009. This award proves that the scientific fraternity and society at large has recognised his extraordinary talent.Similarly, Dr. Sharda for her outstanding work in the twin fields of clinical reproductive medicine and Human Embryology will be awarded THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF OBESTETRICIANS AND GYNAECOLOGISTS (FRCOG) in LONDON, England in September 2018.
A unique honour has been now bestowed on Siddhilife ART Centre, where both of them are founder directors. On the 30th June 2018. The 3rd Global Healthcare awards and conference will be held in New Delhi and they have decided to honour Siddhilife ART Centre for their stellar role as the BEST ART & FERTILITY CENTRE IN MUMBAI for the year 2018.Accepting this award, at the hands of the Union minister of state, Department of Health, Government of India, both of them were typically humble about their achievements and accepted that they are just a part of a dedicated and hardworking team.Even today according to them, their biggest award is sharing the sheer joy of triggering LIFE into a barren uterus. Clearly that , more than anything else, drives them to achieve higher goals.
Dr. Sharda and Dr. Kaustubh kulkarni have always believed in supporting any initiative that PREVENTS infertility rather than cure it. A large number of our would be patients can benefit from this social initiative. Siddhilife has organised 'college talks' creating awareness about PCOS amongst young girls and ways to prevent its long term sequels in women. In line with the same philosophy they have participated in the initiative of good menstural hygiene.They hope this step benefits young girls and prevents infertility in them in the future.
DR KAUSTUBH KULKARNI
Dr Kaustubh Kulkarni, Clinical Director and Co-Founder of Siddhi Life Assisted Reproduction Centre,alongwith his wife have passionately dedicated themselves to the propagation of modern medical treatmentin the field of infertility with a human touch. This is their life’s mission.
Dr Kaustubh completed his MD from the Grant Medical College, University of Bombay. He added on the fellowship and Diplomate of the National Board of Education(DNBE) to his academic achievements. He has studied advanced assisted reproductive techniques in the best facilities in the UK, Belgium, France and Israel. His quest for knowledge in Micromanipulation (ICSI) and PGD has taken him to the leading knowledge centres in the world like the Aristotle University, Greece, and the Brussels Free University, Belgium. Under the tutelage of pioneers and legends like Prof. Vaclav Insler, Israel, Prof. Basil Tarlatzis, Greece, Profs. Paul Devreoy and Andre Van Steirteghem, Belgium (who brought to life the first ICSI baby in the world), he has learnt the best and the latest in the field.
Dr Kulkarni has over 20 years of experience in the field of infertility treatment and is an elected member of the Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction and Fertility (ISSRF) and The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Dr Kulkarni’s work has won him national acclaim for developing several simple, safe and effective surgical methods to assist reproduction. Siddhi Life was started in 1998 as a comprehensive stand alone infertility treatment centre. He is thankful to his parents for giving unconditional support in his mission. Without their support Siddhi Life would nothave been possible, he says. He agrees there are several patient centric issues still associated with IVF in India. This subject is treated as taboo in society and couples do not discuss their problems openly and therefore deny themselves proper treatment. Precious time is lost by such couples butslowly things are changing with growing awareness.
Dr Kulkarni advises the best method to choose an IVF centre is to get feedback from previous patients. The patients must also check and ensure that the centre is recognized by the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR). Siddhi Life is recognised by ICMR as providing standardised treatments and is also ISO certified. His scientific treatises have appeared in several prestigious national and international journals and his work has been decorated with numerous awards and honours. He is ever popular on the didactic circuit. Dr Kulkarni is very passionate about music and is himself a good singer. He relaxes by reading and playing badminton but nothing for him can replace the awesome
joy of triggering life in a barren uterus
DR SHARDA KULKARNI
She completed her MBBS from Topiwala National Medical College in 1993, Mumbai, DGO from College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mumbai, MD from Grant Medical College, Sir J.JGroup of Hospitals in 1996, Mumbai and MRCOG from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,U.K. Her ART scholarship stems from a decade of work in hospitals across the world including the best in Germany, UK, Belgium and Greece. She has attended several hands-on training workshops on ICSI, IVF, cryopreservation, as also embryo handling, culture and transfer at prestigious institutesin Belgium, Germany and Greece. She is also an elected member of the European Society of Human Reproduction (ESHRE) and the International Society for Scientists in Reproductive Medicine (ALPHA). Her advanced work in gynaecology, endocrinology and reproductive biology suggests that she has packed in a lifetime’s work into a few furious years of youth.
In her partnership with Dr Kaustubh, it is she who, with infinite patience and diligence does the entire lab work to persuade Mother Nature to grant motherhood to the patients. Dr.Sharda’s greatest joy, however, is to peer through her microscope and see the beginning of life.
Apart from her devotion to her profession she has a great passion for music. She loves reading books. Trekking and adventure sports are also among her hobbies.
Our insight of almost 20 years in SiddhiLife has revealed that, what a couple really wants is the feeling of being looked after during the course and time leading onto an IVF cycle. We feel the single biggest asset that an IVF centre can deliver to a couple, apart from a standardised form of treatment is the ability to care for them physically and emotionally during this very stressful time. Since this stress cannot quantified, one can also not quantify the care that needs to be given. We have often seen highly educated couples require more emotional support as compared to their less academically qualified couples undergoing treatment. It is because of scientifically check ‘information overload’ that these couples are often very anxious, since they usually indulge in many unnecessary internet searches which throw some scary facts and figures at them and only worsen their fragile state-of-mind.
At SiddhiLife, we have a mature team of extremelycaring doctors, including our sonologist, anaesthetist, well trained assistant doctors and an in-house counsellor. Everyone, including our junior embryologist, right down to our nurses as well as Ayahs have been trained to look after our patients in such a way that they feel SiddhiLife is their second home and their quest for a child becomes our quest as well. Our friendly approach overrides the “need for speed” that other equivalent centres try to follow with their patients. The two Directors understand the sheer frustration, emotional derangement and sense of dread that the couple feel leading up to advanced treatment in A.R.T. They understand that a large percentage of urban Indian couples are emotionally cut off from their parents or their seniors. It is these couples, who inspite of their vast and varied educational backgrounds, require supportive, sensitive and mature handling. Our counsellor, who is well versed with all our processes, (since she has been a patient herself), is an important cog in our wheel. All our patients needing advanced treatment options are counselled by her and benefit from her empathy as well as counselling expertise. Clearly, this helps our couples who need to undergo the emotional roller coaster ride called “IVF”.
We often have patient support group meetings scheduled on weekends for prospective IVF patients wherein they are made to hear the account of at least a few successful IVF couples who have been treated by us. This helps immensely to put them in a positive frame of mind. It is more so because IVF treatment may require more than one attempt in some couples (inspite of our best efforts), this is when emotional hand holding really helps. The world over, the chances of success for a couple are, around 35 to 40 percent per cycle, this means around 60 to 65 percent of the couples may require another attempt. It is necessary the couple is well informed before they start their first cycle of IVF/ICSI so that they are prepared in advance for the challenges ahead.
Whenever an IVF cycle fails, the couple needs to ‘bounce back’ emotionally and financially. A one month ‘cooling off’ may be suggested to them before a new cycle is attempted in order to further scientifically check why the first attempt failed. There may be left over embryos from the first attempt which have been cryo-preserved or stored at the centre. These can be used to do a “frozen embryo transfer” without having to use any hormonal injections as in the first cycle. We have a very successful cryo-program at our centre, thanks to the use of superb “vitrification” (or freezing) methods that were pioneered in centres of Japan, which have been an integral part of our freezing program since many years.