Everything you need to know about IVF, and the experts to seek out in your city

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Scroll to the end for the Tweak tribe’s recommendations for trusted fertility specialists across the country

Let’s face it, living with a big fat desi family is like a never-ending episode of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – full of love, high notes and maybe even the occasional unexpected contestant (looking at you, Sheila maasi) who doesn’t understand boundaries. But sometimes, building your own family feels more like a KBC hot seat moment – intense with sweaty palms, praying you don’t get it wrong.

There are perhaps only two truly democratic phenomena in our lives – cancer and infertility. It’s not us saying it, but Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at the World Health Organisation (WHO). “The report reveals an important truth: infertility does not discriminate,” he said. The report in question found that around 17.5% of the adult population – roughly 1 in 6 worldwide – struggles with natural conception. Forget Knives Out and Agatha Christie novels; there’s enough secrecy and mystery shrouding in vitro fertilization or IVF in India to keep us scratching our heads.

Adopting a baby ivf in india
Representative photo: Alex Pasarelu on Unsplash.com

But for the sake of our scalp health, we spoke to fertility experts across the country to put together a comprehensive guide that delves into the intricacies of IVF in India. This guide will take you on a step-by-step journey with professional voices as your pilot. We’ll explore the entire process, from the initial consultation and pre-treatment workup to egg retrieval and more, to provide a realistic roadmap for prospective parents and those curious about IVF in India.

Meet the experts

Everything you need to know about IVF in India

What is considered ‘infertility’?

Before diving into an evaluation of IVF in India, doctors typically recommend couples try for a baby naturally for around one year for women under the age of 35 years and six months for women more than 35 years. The time period can vary from case to case and takes into account factors like age and health conditions.

“Primary infertility is defined as failure to conceive after several tries of unprotected intercourse when the couple has not conceived before and is trying for the first time,” says Dr Maity, previously speaking to Tweak India about IVF in India.

Secondary infertility applies to couples who have been able to conceive at least once in the past but are now having difficulty getting pregnant again. This could be due to various factors that may have developed after the previous pregnancy and are best left for the experts to determine.

What is IVF?

IVF is a well-established fertility treatment that helps couples facing challenges with conception. During IVF, eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a controlled lab environment. The resulting embryos are then carefully transferred back to the womb for potential pregnancy.

This bypasses issues like blocked fallopian tubes, low sperm count or unexplained infertility. It’s also an option for same-sex couples and individuals seeking a biological child. Additionally, IVF allows for pre-implantation genetic testing to screen embryos for genetic disorders, reducing the risk of passing them on.

How does IVF work?

what happens in IVF cycle
Information compiled with expert inputs, photographs used for representational purposes only

How long does an IVF cycle take?

An IVF cycle typically lasts two to six weeks, depending on individual circumstances and clinic protocols. The process usually begins with an initial consultation and fertility assessment, during which medical history and diagnostic tests are reviewed.

Following this, hormone injections initiate ovarian stimulation, typically lasting 10 to 14 days. Throughout this phase, the woman’s response to medication is monitored via ultrasound and hormone tests.

Once the eggs are deemed mature, they are retrieved during a minor surgical procedure, which usually takes about 20-30 minutes and is done under sedation. Meanwhile, the male partner provides a sperm sample for fertilisation.

The eggs and sperm are then combined in a laboratory dish, and fertilisation is monitored over the next few days.

After a period of embryo culture, typically lasting five to six days, one or more embryos are selected for transfer into the woman’s uterus. The embryo transfer procedure is relatively quick, usually taking 5 minutes and often done without anaesthesia.

Following the transfer, a pregnancy test is typically conducted about two weeks later to determine if implantation has occurred.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with IVF?

Inherently, IVF, like any medical procedure, carries potential risks and side effects. Here are some things to consider, according to the experts:

  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): This condition, characterised by swollen and painful ovaries, can occur due to hormonal stimulation during IVF. However, with proper monitoring and management by a qualified fertility specialist, the risk of OHSS is minimal.
  • Multiple pregnancies: IVF can increase the chance of having multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), which can lead to higher risks for both the mother and babies during pregnancy.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: There’s a small possibility of the embryo implanting outside the uterus, most commonly within the fallopian tube, leading to an ectopic pregnancy. These pregnancies cannot be taken to term.
  • Miscarriage: The risk of miscarriage exists with IVF, as it does with natural conception.
  • Discomfort and side effects: The egg retrieval process itself may cause temporary discomfort, bleeding or infection. Additionally, fertility medications may cause minor side effects like nausea, vomiting, mood swings or injection site reactions.

The majority of IVF procedures are safe. By being aware of the potential risks and openly communicating your medical history and the fears you have with your doctor, you can make informed decisions.

How many embryos are planted?

The number of embryos transferred during IVF is carefully determined by factors such as the woman’s age, embryo quality and medical history. Legal guidelines, like the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act of 2021, recommend a conservative approach, advocating for a single embryo transfer, especially for younger women under 35, to minimise the risk of multiple pregnancies while maintaining a high success rate.

hpv vaccine information women medical tests cervical cancer test
Representative photo: Cottonbro studios on Pexels.com

However, for women over 35 or those with a history of failed IVF cycles, transferring two embryos may be considered to enhance the chances of pregnancy. Nonetheless, this decision should be made in close consultation with a fertility specialist, taking into account factors like embryo quality and the woman’s overall health. Despite the potential benefits, the preference is often for single embryo transfer to mitigate the safety risks associated with multiple pregnancies, particularly as the woman’s age advances.

How does IVF impact emotional and mental well-being?

IVF treatment can deeply affect emotional well-being, often leading to stress, uncertainty and potential disappointment. The journey through IVF is akin to an emotional rollercoaster, characterised by alternating feelings of hope, anticipation and anxiety at each stage of the process. Hormonal medications utilised during treatment, such as injections containing follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH), exacerbate mood swings, irritability and emotional sensitivity, further complicating the mental landscape.

In response to these challenges, it’s crucial for individuals and couples undergoing IVF to prioritize self-care and seek emotional support as needed. Specialized counselling services focusing on fertility-related issues offer a safe environment to process emotions, develop coping strategies and alleviate stress. Additionally, in-person or online support groups provide valuable opportunities to connect with others facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and understanding. Many fertility clinics and hospitals offer access to psychological counsellors who specialise in supporting couples emotionally throughout their IVF journey.

What are the success rates for IVF in India?

While IVF success rates can reach 60% over multiple cycles, each attempt is unique. Several factors influence your chances, including:

  • Age: Younger women (typically under 35) have higher success rates due to healthier eggs.
  • Cause of infertility: Addressing the underlying reason for needing IVF, such as sperm-related issues like low sperm count, endometriosis or hormonal imbalances, can improve your chances.
  • Egg and sperm quality: Healthier eggs and sperm lead to better fertilization and embryo development.
  • Embryo transfer: The number and quality of transferred embryos and preimplantation genetic testing (if used) can affect implantation success.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions in either partner can impact pregnancy.
  • Clinic expertise: A clinic’s experience and technology can influence outcomes.

What factors can affect IVF success?

success rate of IVF in India
Information compiled with expert inputs, photographs used for representational purposes only

If IVF is unsuccessful, how long should we wait to try again?

The standard waiting time between IVF cycles is typically one full menstrual cycle, which is usually around four to six weeks. This allows your body time to recover from the hormonal stimulation medications used during the previous cycle.

The waiting period is important to allow physical recovery. Your body needs time to return to its normal hormonal balance after the stimulation medications used to produce mature eggs. IVF can be emotionally demanding. Taking a break allows you time to process the experience until you feel ready for another cycle.

IVF can also be expensive, so waiting gives you time to reassess your financial situation and consider alternative paths in consultation with your doctor.

Doctors can then assess if changes are needed, possibly to adjust the treatment protocol based on insights gained from the previous cycle. This may include changes to medication dosages, timing of procedures or additional testing to identify potential underlying issues.

What are the costs associated with IVF in India?

The estimated cost of one IVF cycle in India can vary depending on several factors, but generally falls within the range of ₹70,000 to ₹3,50,000. Factors like city, clinic/doctor of choice, type of procedures, medications and the number of cycles needed all influence the final expenditure.

Major cities with high living costs may have slightly more expensive clinics. Prices can vary in the same city from one doctor to another, some based on track record, experience and success rate. Newer facilities may charge less.

Basic IVF cycles are typically less expensive than those involving advanced techniques like intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or preimplantation genetic testing (PGT).

Is there any financial aid or insurance that covers it?

In India, IVF and many other fertility treatments are typically not classified as medically necessary by insurance companies, resulting in limited or no coverage. According to reports, there are companies in India like Merck, Johnson & Johnson India, Titan Company, and Meesho that have employee benefits for those considering fertility treatments.

However, there are avenues for financial assistance or payment plans. Many fertility clinics offer financing options or payment plans to help spread out the cost of treatment over time. Some clinics also offer discount programs or income-based sliding scale fees for individuals who qualify.

Are there alternative fertility treatments to IVF in India?

There are no alternative treatments for IVF. However, there are fertility treatments, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and using donor eggs or sperm. Donor options are for those who can’t conceive with their own gametes. IVF is the most effective, but is costlier and more invasive. A fertility specialist can help you choose the best option based on factors like age and preferences.

Fertility specialists and clinics recommended by the Tweak tribe

Mumbai

Dr Ameet Patki, Fertility Associates, 022-26044333

Dr Firuza Parikh, Fertiltree, 022-66573175

Dr Grishma Desai, Nowrozjee Wadia Maternity Hospital, 022-24146964/65/66/67.

Dr Hrishikesh Pai, Bloom IVF, 9871717305, 8433732400

Dr Jatin Shah, Mumbai Fertility Clinic and IVF Centre, 022-66908000

Dr Kiran Coelho, Surya Hospital: 022-61538989, Lilavatai Hospital: 9833100864, and PD Hinduja Hospital: 022-30918989

Dr Milind V Wankhede, Womb IVF & Fertility Centre, 8591356186/9890346513

Dr Mukesh Agrawal, Aarush IVF & Endoscopy Centre, Malad: 022-2806 0051/52/53, and Mira Road: 022-8110841/42/43

Dr Nozer Sheriar, Aviva clinic, 022-26481982

Dr Ranjana Dhanu, 9820044268

Dr Ritu Hinduja, Nova IVF, 9869322828

Dr Sejal Ajmera, 9870754819

Dr Shruti Parikh, Cloudnine Fertility, 9972899728

Dr Soumil Trivedi, Dr Trivedi’s Total Health Care, 9321587821, 022-61480707, 022-21022875 and 022-21023920

Dr Sudha Tandon, Dr Aditi Tandon and Dr Amrita Tandon, Chembur: 9167680410 and Vashi: 9833044930

Dr Swati Allahbadia, IVF Rotunda, 8282808012

Dr Varun Shah, Inception IVF, 9819090393

National Capital Region (NCR)

Dr Anjali Chaudhary, Aarogya Hospital, 011-41168499, ext. 257

Dr Anjali Kumar, CK Birla Hospital: 012-34543465, and The Gynae Clinic: 011-61260801, ext. 267

Dr Bhavna Mittal, Shivam IVF & Infertility Centre, 9810740459

Dr Bindu Garg, Neelkanth Hospital, 7669054615

Dr Gunjan Gupta Govil, Gunjan IVF World, Noida: 7042874533, New Delhi: 7042874533, Meerut: 7042874533, Ghaziabad: 7042874533

Dr Mandavi Rai and Dr Deepali Mehra Jain , Indira IVF, 18003092323

Dr Nishi Singh, Prime IVF, 9026869869

Dr Reeta Mahey, AIIMS, 011-26588500/26588700

Dr Sunita Arora, Fortis La Femme hospital, 9910264379, 011-42213880, ext. 216

Hyderabad

Dr Durvasula Ratna, Rainbow Hospitals, 18002122

Dr Runa Acharya, Umdaa Health Care, 9100948181, 9100462015

Dr Vyjayanthi S, Kims Hospital, 040-44885000

Bengaluru

Dr Anagha Nawal, Archish Fertility and IVF, 9953515836

Dr Apoorva Pallam Reddy, Phoenix Speciality Clinic, 8050325050

Dr Aviva Pinto Rodrigues, Nova IVF, 8049388781

Dr Lakshmi Kumari A, Archish Fertility and IVF, 9953515836

Dr Rashmi Yogish, Khushi Fertility & IVF Centre, 7349200888, 7349200222, 80-26585004, 80-26584004

Dr Shilpa Ellur, Milann The Fertility Specialists, 7039169622

Kochi

Dr Vijayalakshmi Pillai, Vijayalakshmi Medical Centre, 9946932600

Chandigarh

Dr Nirmal Bhasin, Jannee Fertility Centre, 7508281399

Dr Nitasha Gupta, Indira IVF, 18003092323

Dr Preeti Jindal, The Touch Clinic, 9915748821, 0172-5032467

Dr Sheetal Jindal, Jindal IVF, 0172-4911000, 9582499479

Mohali

Dr Parampreet Kaur Ghuman, Max Healthcare, 9268880303

Dr Navpreet Buttar, 9779200841

Ahmedabad

Dr Azadeh Patel, ART Fertility Clinics, 8282826002

Dr Himanshu Bavishi and Dr Janki Parth Bavishi, Bavishi Fertility Institute, 9712622288

Anand

Dr Nayana H Patel and Dr Molina Patel, Akanksha Hospital, 7069255511, 02692-617300

Pune

Dr Asmita Potdar, Cloudnine Fertility, 9972899728

Dr Manasi Naralkar, Sahawas Hospital, 8261808915, and Dr Patankar Hospital, 9552587152

Dr Pallavi Tiple, 9967050566

Dr Sanat Pimpalkhare, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Centre, 2049153347/3396

Dr Sunita Tandulwadkar, Ruby Hall Clinic, 2071177307, ext. 908

Dr Swadha Gaurav, Auradale, 9890852912, 9689892912

Surat

Dr Mona Shroff, Nova IVF, 08049388781

Dr Yuvrajsingh Jadeja and Dr Pooja Nadkarni Singh, Nimaaya, 261-6119900

Visakhapatnam

Dr GA Rama Raju, Krishna IVF Clinic, 9603910004, 8912538194, 8912538195

Indore

Dr Archana Baser, Akash Hospital, 079-71266012, ext. 643

Dr Shefali Jain, Asian Institute of Infertility Management, 180041227847

Jaipur

Dr Anju Mathur, Mangalam Hospital, 011-40036578, ext. 528

Agra

Dr Narendra Malhotra, Ujala Cygnus Rainbow Hospitals, 9146691466, 011- 41750891

Kolkata

Dr Saurav Prakash Maity, Rashmika Fertility, 9831809700

Kozhikode

Dr Bavin Balakrishnan, Baby Memorial Hospital, 495-2723272, 495-3535353

This article has been reviewed by Dr Ritu Hinduja for accuracy.

A note of caution: This article is for educational purposes with inputs from trained medical professionals. Please consult your healthcare provider to find the best treatment plan for you and your needs.



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Modified by Maaaty at Tuto Gadget

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