Dr Rakhi Singh, Medical Director, Abalone Clinic, Noida, in conversation with Shahid Akhter, ENN shares the infertility treatment protocols in achieving pregnancy rate at her centre
To what extent infertility has affected us, and why is it on the rise?
Infertility is becoming increasingly common and affects approximately one in 10 couples. To become a mother is a dream of most of the women for which sometimes you need a little helping hand. The problem could be either in wife or husband, or it can be unexplained infertility where the underlying cause of infertility cannot be found in the couple which is on the rise these days.
Infertility can also be the outcome of increased stress which has almost become a norm today. Add to this, competitive work, environmental pollution, obesity, erratic lifestyles, delayed marriages, prolonged family planning and priority to the career advancement over planning of pregnancy. High pressure jobs with erratic long-working hours and sleeping schedule adversely affects the hormones, thus increasing infertility in these segments. It is required to identify and manage the lifestyle habits which adversely affect the outcome of pregnancy.
Please spell out the revolutionary reproductive therapies that can come to the rescue of the infertile couples.
Today, there are various options available, and the course of treatment is based on initial diagnostic tests which reveal the lacunae in reproductive system of the husband or the wife or both. Some of the most prominent Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) services are:
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a wonderful solution to infertility. This involves putting the eggs and sperms together. Following fertilization, the embryos grow for a short period of time before being placed into the uterus. This leads to a successful pregnancy which can be confirmed about two weeks later. IVF is offered to the couples, if the patient has not conceived even after IUI cycles, tubal block and severe male factor.
Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is all about a single sperm cell being injected directly into an egg. This helps in initiating the fertilization process and is best suited when the problems are evident in the sperm.
intra-Cytoplasmic Morphologically-Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) is akin to ICSI with the added advantage that more attention is paid to the quality of the sperm to be injected into the egg. In IMSI, the mans sperm sample is examined under a high-definition microscope, and only those sperm cells which appear to have good genetic characteristics are selected for injection into the female partners eggs. The selection of only good-quality sperm makes IMSI a more successful fertility treatment than ICSI.
Other therapies include Superovulation &amIt is also not a painful procedure involving long admissions.p; Intrauterine Insemination, Blastocyst Culture and in-vitro maturation of oocytes, Laser Assisted Hatching and there are even software that help in the identification of sperm and eggs, resulting embryos and other materials used in IVF treatment cycles.
Add to this, the surge in endoscopic surgery and advancements in ultrasound that has revolutionized the face of infertility treatment.
What diagnostic tests you consider before suggesting IVF?
Basic general health check-ups with tubal patency test, diagnostic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, ovulation induction documented by transvaginal USG for monitoring and detailed semen analysis.
When should one consult an infertility expert?
If the couples fail to conceive even after one year of not using contraception and cohabitation, they should consult earlier by six months, if the woman is of more than 35 years of age.
What difficulties do you face in convincing IVF couple?
In India, infertility is still considered as a taboo, and women are usually considered as the cause of infertility, and males not coming forward for their check-ups. The couple usually suffers silently emotionally, financially with the pressure from the society growing thus making infertility a social taboo. Many patients dont even know the options available. A good detailed counselling is required to solve all their queries, so that they are more convinced to take their treatment with daily injectables. The success rate and the myths involved with IVF like:
“In India, infertility is still considered as a taboo, and women are usually considered as the cause of infertility, and males not coming forward for their check-ups”
How will you resolve the chance of multiple births?
We have very less multiple pregnancy rates, as we practice to transfer single or twin transfers only, depending upon the age of the patient, and the quality of the embryos. With the controlled ovarian stimulation and the surplus embryos, which if are available can be frozen.
Please tell us about the embryology lab at your centre.
We have the state-of-the-art embryology lab with all the latest equipments required as per the ICMR guidelines.
What is the success rate of IVF at your centre, and your USP?
At Abalone IVF centre, we have a good success rate and promising results. We treat each couple as separately with the tailor-made protocols for each of the individuals based on the hormone uation, ovarian reserve and semen analysis.
Abalone clinics doctors and staff give the patients a homely feel so that they are well counselled and answered to all their queries.
We have well-equipped state-of-the-art facilities available under one roof set as per the ICMR guidelines. Our centre offers all the facilities from uation of the infertile couples, IUI, IVF, ICSI, embryo freezing, egg donation, donor insemination, PESA, TESA and surrogacy.