Despite the advancement of infertility treatments in Bangalore, it is far behind in delivering the rising demand. Steep growth in infertility in India has made it public as well as personal healthcare concern.
In addition to the social stigma attached, infertility leads to immense emotional and financial stress among couples. As a serious public healthcare matter, it needs immediate attention from all stakeholders including policymakers, health insurers, patients, and medical experts.
In urban areas, one out of every six couples are facing infertility issues and the number will only grow with time. According to a national survey conducted recently by RESOLVE, it was revealed that a majority of the respondents mention financial challenges as the greatest hurdle to seeking infertility treatment.
India has made considerable progress in offering the best fertility treatment, especially in terms of the adoption of modern procedures such as In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) and expertise.
Infertile couples today can opt for IVF treatment wherein the eggs and sperm are fused and fertilized outside a woman’s body. However, unfortunately, only 1 % of infertile couples seek any sort of treatment.
Here are some of the challenges that lie in the way of fertility and IVF treatment in Bangalore:
1] Absence of information on dealing with infertility:
Most couples do not educate themselves about fertility and what their next steps should be. Couples who are struggling to conceive should talk to their doctor who will provide them with resources. Couples can also look at the Center for Disease Control for additional information.
2] Adapting to changing expectations and social attitudes:
The broader availability of fertility treatment, together with shifting social attitudes to parenting by single parents, and by people opting for parenthood later in life, have opened up the prospect of a new kind of parenthood for several individuals and couples who earlier would have had to accept the improbability of having their own family.
3] Slim chances of women over 40 getting pregnant:
One specific challenge that women face is in relation to the freezing and storing of their eggs to be used later in assisted reproduction.
More and more women are choosing to freeze their eggs today and have children later to protect themselves against natural fertility loss with age. However, the likelihood of a future pregnancy is very slim for women over the age of 40.
4] IVF and health insurance:
Fertility treatments in Bangalore today is a physical and financial risk for several couples and insurance companies can be a significant help to those who cannot afford it.
Sadly, both public and private health insurers do not incorporate fertility procedures under their insurance plans. Policies that provide cover for all fertility procedures would be a boon for all infertile couples who have been deprived of the advantages of superior medical facilities just because of the cost.
Today we need to take fertility treatment to the insured space. There are enough medical experts to take care of medical and physical risks, but insurers can help immensely to curtail financial risks.
5] Absence of any support group:
Generally, in India, we do not have enough support groups for couples who are struggling to conceive, whether they are professionally led, or peer-led. A support group will go a long way in helping couples feel less isolated and empower them with knowledge and authenticate their emotional reactions to infertility.
6] Lack of speciality pharmacy:
Couples would also require a speciality pharmacy instead of a conventional pharmacy is normally prescribed fertility drugs are pricey and often administered through injections. Also, the amount is tailored to each patient. These are compounded speciality fertility drugs that are conventionally prepared only by speciality pharmacies.
Types of Treatment Available
Couples today have the following infertility treatment options to choose from:
In this process, medications are used to encourage the development of mature follicles in a female’s ovaries. Women who are not ovulating properly or suffering from irregular cycles can opt for this treatment. In this process, the womb lining is scanned with an ultrasound to find out how the follicles are developing.
In-vitro Fertilization (IVF):
In this process, a female’s eggs are fertilized outside the body in a lab and once the embryos are produced, they are placed back into the uterus. This procedure is advised for women with blocked, damaged or absent fallopian tubes or with unexplained infertility.
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis:
In this method, couples who are at risk of a particular inherited condition can avoid passing it to their offspring. This process involves producing several pre-implantation embryos using IVF treatment and examining the genes of those embryos for the condition prior to shifting them to the uterus of the woman.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):
In the instance when the eggs and sperm are put together as a regular IVF, close to half of the fertilization treatments fail to work.
To overcome this difficulty, a technique known as Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection is used, wherein an individual sperm is injected into the centre of the egg. Once the procedure is carried out successfully, the eggs are examined over a period of 24 hours and then placed back into the woman’s body as per IVF.
This unites the ovulation induction process with the insertion of sterilized semen into the uterus on the day of ovulation. This procedure is recommended as a first-line treatment, especially with unexplained fertility issues.
Pre-implantation Genetic Screening :
This procedure is an intricate form of IVF and is advised for couples who have gone through persistent miscarriages or recurrent failed IVF cycles.
Checking embryos for any genetic defects before moving them raises the chance of a successful pregnancy significantly and lowers the occurrence of miscarriage. It also substantially reduces the chance of having a child with genetic issues.
Infertility challenges and the fertility treatment process is not just psychologically exhausting, but also financially taxing. New treatments and challenges in the field of reproductive medicine will definitely present themselves in the future.