In current times everyone is well aware of infertility. Most of the couples get treated through simple medications and lifestyle changes. The rest of them choose IVF treatment. It is one of the widely regarded assisted reproductive technology. Due to its success rates and affordability, the IVF treatment in India has gained worldwide recognition. A fertility clinic in India will examine your infertility and suggest you the most suitable fertility treatment. Other than IVF, there are many different options too. So, while choosing IVF, you need to take care of a lot of things.
In this article, you will find all the necessary points to think and consider before choosing/going for IVF treatment.
- IVF is very common these days.
For sure you have heard about IVF and infertility, you are aware of what they mean. Today infertility is as common as, in every ten couples, one has it. Most infertility treatment seekers opt for IVF treatment because it takes less time than medication & lifestyle treatment, and currently, it is more effective than other assistive reproductive technologies (ART). Some fertile people pursue IVF for other reasons too, like in case of same-sex couples, single women, single men, those carrying a genetic disease, and those creating a savior sibling.
- The Hidden Costs in The Treatment
IVF is not always expensive. The total treatment expense depends upon the type of infertility the couple is experiencing. Often, patients mistake the cycle cost for the entire cost of treatment. The cycle cost only covers scans, egg collection, embryology, and embryo transfer. The costs for blood tests, medication, and additional techniques are not included as they depend on the condition of the patient. Make sure you request your clinic for a full breakdown of costs and consider any extras required.
- Success rates can be misleading
No fertility clinic in India shows success rates concerning a particular cause of infertility. So there are high chances that the success rates which you are considering as a primary factor in your discussion, might not be relevant in terms of your cause of infertility. Some clinics turn away some patients such as older women, those with a low egg reserve, or with a specific gynecological problem, which means that their high success rate is not genuine. Some clinics measure success by positive pregnancy tests, others by clinical pregnancy, while the rest by live births. So knowing what is the correct parameter of a center’s success is also an add on task.
- Conventional IVF can be very time-consuming.
The conventional IVF treatment consists of the retrieval/procurement (through donation) of female eggs and male sperms, the fertilizing them outside, and then replacing them inside the female’s uterus (mother). In this procedure, a woman’s body is stimulated for egg production. Apart from that, the treatment involves numerous medications and visits to the clinic for scans/check-ups. This usually lasts for some weeks. After the retrieval procedure, which usually takes only an hour, patients must return for the embryo transplant, and after that, they need to return for a pregnancy blood test. The total treatment can take around 4-5 weeks.
- Preparations Are Needed Before Starting IVF procedure.
Most patients have to undergo 2-3 cycles before achieving a successful pregnancy. The efforts are being laid to achieve better success rates. During IVF, as there can be more than one cycle, you shall mentally prepare yourself for any mishappenings or multiple cycles. You can even ask your doctor for an estimation of the particular success rate according to your case.
- Frozen is just as good as fresh.
Recent studies suggest that frozen eggs and embryos are just as viable as the fresh ones. Another observation is that it is better to freeze embryos than eggs, as they are more stable and more likely to survive to thaw. Consider it as- a woman who has frozen 12 eggs under the age of 35, has a 50% chance of having a baby with these eggs through fertility treatment.
- The Best Suitable Age For IVF.
IVF specialists or infertility specialists in India, as well as world, will advise you one thing for sure, younger the age during treatment, better the possibilities for success. For women, the decline in fertility begins at around thirty-five and quickens with the late thirties and forties. This means, that by the early 40s, it is much more difficult to conceive and increase the possibility of success. By 45, chances are as low as impossible, also the women’s body may or may not be able to handle pregnancy. This happens because of the decline in the quality of eggs and also their number. The men’s fertility is relatively more stable, but it also declines over time. The testosterone levels decline with age, so fewer sperm are produced. Even their quality (i.ee vitality and motility) also gets reduced. All is not lost for older patients, but if you are considering starting fertility treatment, it is better to do so sooner rather than later.
- You are more likely to have multiple pregnancies with IVF.
It’s not a hidden fact that IVF treatment can result in multiple pregnancies. Twins are most likely to be born, following triplets, and the quadruplets. After that, the higher-orders of multiples are rare results. The doctors are trying to control this by reducing the dose of fertility drugs. As discussed twins and triplets are more common with IVF, the chance of multiple births increases from 3% in natural conception to 33% with IVF treatment. This usually happens as to increase the chances of pregnancy; more than one embryo is placed in the womb. Many fertility clinics practice ‘single embryo transfer’ policy to reduce the incidence of multiple births. You can even discuss the same with your fertility/IVF doctor in India.
- Other Treatments Options.
The individuals/couples who undergo IVF wish to increase their chances of success by any means possible. For this, they adopt several additional techniques such as Embryoscope, PGD, and PGS. Embryoscope is a special type of incubator, it has a live camera feed. It is for monitoring the development of embryos at every stage. Preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS, is an advanced test for checking an embryo for chromosomal abnormalities. In this, one cell of the embryo is removed and examined to check whether the correct number of chromosomes are there, and also for checking the health of the embryo(s) to be replaced inside the uterus. These techniques may/may not prove to be a benefit in your circumstances so it is important to discuss with your doctor whether they have relevance for you or not.
So, if you are planning to undergo an IVF treatment in India, then this is for you to understand that your chances of having a healthy baby depend on many factors. Your age and the cause of infertility plays a prominent role in it. Other than this, if you regularly consume alcohol or tobacco, then during treatment and pregnancy you will have to strictly cease it. Exposure to pesticides, chemicals, and radiation should be avoided as much as you can. Any type of medicine should not be taken without prior consultation from a medical expert. Always emphasize that you eat freshly cooked homemade food. Also, a fertility doctor is the best person in helping you to understand how IVF works, the possible risks and whether this method of conception is right for you.
Dr. Priya Banerjee (M.D. (Obs. & Gyn.))
Have been practising since fifteen years, an online consultant with Femicure, along with it, have written medical articles and blogs for 10 years. Also an infertility specialist with IVF, IUI, ICSI, and infertility related surgeries.