Lack of understanding about infertility and limited sources of awareness poses a challenging situation, especially in villages and smaller cities in India. Infertility is considered as a taboo and a social stigma since ages in many parts of the country. People are not comfortable in sharing and talking about their problems openly. It remains a hushed subject, even after undergoing infertility treatment and delivering a healthy baby through IVF procedure, many are not inclined to share their experience with friends and family members.
Since last one decade, there has been a markedly increasing trend of infertile couples and Fertility services providers throughout India. Prior to this trend,assisted reproductive facilities were available mostly in metro cities in limited number. Today, even the smaller cities have IVF centers with all the facilities and treatment has become easily approachable and accessible.
Men and women infertility ratio in India
Incidence of infertility is 30% in males, 30% in females, 30% in both male and female partners, and 10% unexplained infertility.
Factors affecting the fertility potential of both male and female.
Changes in lifestyle, sedentary habits, obesity, smoking, alcohol, environmental factors, pollution, stress, genetic mutations have contributed to both male and female fertility potential.
Current trend of late marriage and late planning of pregnancy has also contributed to fertility problems to a greater extent.
Age is an important parameter, especially in the case of females. Most of the couples coming to us for the treatment fall in the age group of 35 to 40 years. As the age advances fertility reduces, drastically after 35 because of genetic changes in the eggs. Chances of miscarriages, birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities also increases.With advancing age, certain medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disorders also reduce the fertility potential in both males and females.
Unprotected intercourse increases the risk of pelvic inflammatory diseases, unwanted pregnancies, risk of abortions in females and risk of sexually transmitted infections in both males and females.
Increase in the number of annual IVF cycles.
The average number of infertile couples in reproductive age is 27.5 million.With the increasing incidence of infertility day by day, and increasing awareness of the options for treatment available, more and more people are coming forward to get the treatment done. The fertility centers and care providers are also, every year, fulfilling the demands of these patients.
The number of IVF cycles per couple is estimated to increase from 1.5 in 2015 to 3.5 lac in 2022.
About 2 -2.5 lac IVF cycles are done every year in India.There is 20% of compound annual growth rate in fertility segment through the last 5 years in India.
New cutting-edge technologies to make IVF treatment cost-effective and safe in India.
There has been drastic improvement and advancement in latest ART techniques over the years to not only improve the success rate from 25 – 30% to 65-70% but also prevent miscarriages and birth defects.
There are various add-on latest techniques in addition to IVF/ICSI like PGT-A, PGT –M (embryo biopsy to select genetically healthy embryos), ERA (procedure to check for window of implantation, also called personalized embryo transfer); Blastocyst transfer, assisted hatching, Micritesa/ TESA (where the sperms are not seen in the semen sample, in such cases sperms are extracted directly from testes), Freezing of eggs/ sperms and embryos (for later use). Microfluidics, Donor eggs/sperm IVF and surrogacy.
(Dr. Ila Gupta is Director & Sr. Consultant Reproductive Medicine at Ferticity Fertility Clinics. Views are personal)