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‘Need to Make IVF Treatment Part of Social Discussions’

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A lot of research is going on to improve In-Vitro-Fertilisation (IVF) treatment in India. Along with technology advancement in this sector, it is also needed that people suffering with any such problem feel free to discuss about it, says Dr Aradhana Kalra, Consultant IVF, QRG Central Hospital, in a conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Q What are the opportunities and challenges for the rapidly evolving In-Vitro-Fertilisation (IVF) market of India?

The Indian IVF market is evolving at the same rate such as in country like the US or in Europe. As far as challenges are concerned, one of the major problems is that neither infertility nor its treatment is funded or insured in India which poses a financial burden on the patients many a times. Though the market is evolving but the ban on surrogacy has reduced the good opportunities of medical tourism in the country.

Q Given the burden of infertility, where does India stand when it comes to fertility treatments?

One in every eight couples in India’s urban areas is suffering from infertility. As per different reports, the total estimated burden is over 27 million which might be a small picture of a big problem. In terms of treatment, a good infertility centre in India offers all such services at par with the global standards. The waiting period is less in comparison to UK and doctors in India are easily accessible. Cost of infertility treatment in India is also significantly less as compared to other countries across the globe. However, more research work needs to be done in this along with effective government policies for any such treatment.

Q Tell us about latest trends and innovations in the segment. A lot of work has been done in male infertility and selection of good sperm in cases of abnormal semen parameters like IMSI, PICSI, and Microsurgical sperm retrieval etc. Scientists across the globe are doing researches on ways to improve poor ovarian reserve. By multiple oral agents, different simulations protocols, and stem cell therapy. We are also doing study of PlateletRich Plasma (PRP) in cases of poor endometrium and have found considerable outcomes.

The modern laboratories have evolved with blastocysts culture being done at most places. Use of embryoscope which can take pictures of forming embryos at a time interval and can detect the progress of developing embryo in repeated implantation failure (RIF) cases.

Q How can establishing a regulatory body streamline the unorganised Indian IVF sector?

The Indian IVF sector is highly unorganised and there are many unregulated centres run by underqualified or unqualified people. A regulatory body is mandatory but it should be beneficial to the society and the doctors. Moreover, to regularise the IVF sector, we also need strict laws.

Q Infertility is something which many people don’t want to talk about. How spreading awareness among people can help to keep myth and stigma surrounding infertility at bay?

Infertility and its treatment are a taboo in our country. People request us not to tell their relatives that they underwent IVF. Social awareness and counseling play a major role. Also, it needs to be emphasised that both male and female can have problems so none should be blamed. IVF treatment should be treated the same way patients visit the doctor for general illnesses. Moreover, doctors should be consulted for treatment of infertility rather than believing any superstition.

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