Updated: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 02:01 PM IST
Every year, infertility affects millions of people around the world. 48 million couples and 186 million individuals live with infertility globally, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). Therefore, In vitro fertilization or IVF has been beneficial for people who want to get pregnant. On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown became the first ever baby born through the IVF technique. Since then, July 25 is observed as World IVF Day.
Even though IVF is common these days, people have many misconceptions about the process. People often question if IVF babies are as healthy as normal ones or if the IVF process is artificial. "ART (Assisted reproductive technique) which also includes IVF means assisted reproductive technique doesn’t mean artificial reproductive technique so there is nothing artificial about it," according to Dr Richika Sahay, Director, IVF, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj. In IVF, the fertilization of egg and sperm is done outside the uterus with the help of fertility drugs instead of sexual intercourse. The rest of the pregnancy is carried out in the same way as it is carried out in a natural conception.
Dr Richika Sahay also mentioned that IVF babies are very much as healthy and normal as babies conceived naturally. She added that IVF babies in no way lack intelligence examples are many celebrity babies who have come out and talked about it. IVF is still taboo as many people don’t talk about IVF and so we need to have awareness about it.
Things to know about IVF before opting for it:
According to Dr Richika Sahay, IVF is a time taking process which requires persistence and hard work from the couple's side as their body and mind need to be prepared and reset for the process, as several times the patient has to take several attempts at this process. The couples will be guided to change their lifestyle, diet increase and their mental strength as well as physical strength. They should be aware of the financial packages as well.
IVF is an assisted reproductive technique and is a teamwork. The team comprises three parts, first, the couple and their caregivers. Secondly, the team of healthcare professionals, which includes a trained clinician, embryologist other paramedical and support staff. Third, the infrastructure and backup where ur baby is going to be fertilized.
Age Limit In IVF:
Age impacts fertility and maternal health in many ways and obstetric risks are higher in women with advanced maternal age, according to Dr Col (Prof) Pankaj Talwar, VSM, Director Of Medical Services, Birla Institute of Fertility Sciences. Moreover, the chances of genetic abnormalities also increase in both men and women as they age. As per Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2021, the legal age limit for couples seeking ART treatment. For females, this is 21 to 50 years of age whereas for males it is 21-55yrs.
Dr Pankaj Talwar further explains that IVF can be done in two ways in the laboratory. Conventional IVF consists of incubating the retrieved eggs with many sperm and fertilization occurs when one sperm penetrates the egg naturally. The other way is Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which involves gamete micromanipulation in which a single sperm is immobilised and injected into the egg to produce an embryo.
Risks involved and side effects in IVF Process:
Dr Pankaj Talwar mentioned that there are usually no serious complications from IVF medicines and procedures. But there are always chances of some risks due to medical treatments. Mild bruising or soreness and temporary redness or itching are possible at the injection site. The treatment can also cause Mild Nausea, Bloating and breast discomfort. However, most of the side effects are easily manageable.