IVF has become a way of life for many these days with knowledge and education level being enhanced.

Dear couples,

More than 40 years since the first In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) baby was born and was looked at as a “miracle” of science through fertility treatments that has come a long way. It offers the chance and choice to couples, struggling thereby to start a family for bearing biological babies of their own.

About 8-10 percent of couples across the globe experience the struggle of conceiving of their own, putting the figure to a whopping 60-80 million globally. Of these, probably 15-20 million (one-fourth) are in India alone. A closer look at these statistics reveals that the chance for a healthy pregnancy is meager and even less than 20 per cent across families, making assisted reproductive techniques a common intervention as the only recourse.

IVF is a blessing in disguise for many couples where a spontaneous pregnancy is not possible. Its method of assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to help couples having the following medical health conditions like Bilateral Blocked fallopian tubes, moderate to severe degree endometriosis, and the male partner with very low sperm counts where natural fertilization process gets hampered. ICSI is a technique used to inject a single sperm into a mature egg with a very fine glass needle by means of a micro-manipulator in order to achieve fertilisation, unlike conventional IVF. A single motile, mature, normal looking sperm is selected for injection under a high magnification microscope. ICSI has become a subset of IVF as an alternate medium where the chances of fertilization become increasingly high where the sperm is extracted from testis or epididymis in case of zero or extremely poor sperm count of the male partner. The overall estimates reveal that almost 2.5 million cycles of IVF are being performed year on year, resulting in over 5,00,000 deliveries spread across on an annual basis.

IVF has become a way of life for many these days with knowledge and education level being enhanced. The thrust of having a baby has become more convenient where IVF has come handy to almost every segment of the living class across the country / globe. There has been a significant change in the last couple of decades ever since I was involved in dealing with fertility issues and IVF treatment. The overall acceptance of IVF treatment has become the go to of life where more and more couples opt for a treatment of this nature without any bias or prejudice.

IVF is a procedure involving the stimulation of multiple eggs using medications, called gonadotropins, that are similar to natural hormones (FSH) that cause eggs to grow. For IVF / ICSI, women are usually given a hormone injection to produce multiple eggs in any given cycle. The cycle is being monitored by Ultrasound and Hormonal evaluation to assess the maturity of eggs and the female partner undergoes a procedure TVOR to extract the eggs from the ovaries. Once this process is complete, the eggs are fertilized in the laboratory with the husband’s sperm. Embryos are cultured in the incubators and monitored for assessment of the quality. Depending on the embryo quality, one or two are selected to be transferred into the uterine cavity and surplus embryos are frozen for future consumption. This process has a cumulative success rate of around 45 – 55%.

In vitro fertilization can be a very safe alternative to natural childbearing if used under regulation. Oftentimes, couples with infertility problems turn to this process for help with conceiving. It is used by mixing a woman’s eggs with a man’s sperm outside the body and letting it fertilize, making it an embryo which then gets transferred to Uterus for implantation. If successful, the woman will become pregnant. The history began in Great Britain when the world’s first successful test tube baby was born, Louise Joy Brown. The success of IVF with donor oocytes not only crossed the traditional boundaries of ART, but also unleashed a barrage of unprecedented social, ethical, and legal concerns. In summary, few fields of medicine have enjoyed the popular growth and sustained improvements witnessed by physicians and their patients with infertility.

Yours truly,

Dr Babita Panda

Dr. Panda, MD Gynaecology is the Chief Fertility Consultant & Managing Director, Future Fertility Pvt Limited, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Former Faculty at CMC Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

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