- India is a popular travel destination for people seeking IVF treatment.
- Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai all have prominent IVF centers.
- Compared to the USA or UK, IVF services in India are a fraction of the cost.
In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, is a treatment used to help people who are struggling with fertility issues or who are looking to avoid certain genetic problems when conceiving a child. In many parts of the world, IVF is expensive. Indian treatment centers offer affordable IVF services, and this has led to a surge in medical tourism to the country.
What Is IVF?
IVF treatment involves collecting mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them using sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs are then placed into the uterus where they can develop. Depending on the reason a couple has chosen to have IVF treatment, the therapy may use eggs and sperm from the couple or donors. It’s also possible to take donated eggs and use a gestational carrier, so a third party carries the baby to term for the couple.
How IVF Can Help With Infertility
IVF treatment can help women who are struggling with their fertility, although it’s not always used as the first option. Other treatments, such as fertility drugs or intrauterine insemination, where concentrated sperm are inserted into the uterus around the time of ovulation, may be tried first. If these treatments are unsuccessful, IVF may be considered. There are some scenarios where IVF treatments may be one of the first options considered. For example, if the woman is over the age of 40 or if they have an ovulation disorder.
IVF for People With Genetic Disorders
Many couples opt for genetic screening before having children. If they discover they’re at risk of passing on a genetic condition, they may choose to have IVF treatment with preimplantation testing. This procedure involves screening embryos for certain genetic issues to select the best candidates for implantation. Genetic screening can’t detect all potential disorders, but it does greatly reduce the risk of passing on genetic conditions. This can be a boon for couples who are concerned about a certain illness or disorder in their family tree.
How Much Does IVF Treatment Cost in India?
The cost of IVF treatment varies depending on the facility, as well as the complexity of the treatment. A single cycle of IVF can cost between RS 1,00,000 and RS 3,50,000 for the IVF alone. When drugs, testing and other procedures are taken into account, costs of RS 60,00,000 aren’t uncommon.
IVF treatments in the United States cost around three times as much as in India, and the cost of private IVF treatments in the UK is usually more than double the cost of those in India. The fees charged by Indian clinics also compare favorably with those in most countries in mainland Europe. Some couples may choose to travel because IVF isn’t offered for their individual circumstances where they live.
Who Is Eligible for IVF Treatment in India?
IVF clinics in India will typically only perform IVF treatments on women who are under 50 years of age. Many other countries have lower age limits, which is one of the reasons foreign couples choose to travel to India to seek IVF services. As a part of the procedure, they may perform a variety of health checks to ensure it would be safe for the woman to carry the pregnancy to term. If the specialist has any concerns about the safety of the pregnancy, they may refuse to carry out the treatment.
How Long Does IVF Treatment Take?
A typical IVF cycle is 3 weeks long. The actual medical procedures carried out during the process, such as collecting the eggs and performing the insemination, don’t take long. However, men will be expected to provide a sperm sample and women will need to take medications to suppress their menstrual cycle and stimulate the production of eggs at specific times. It can take several visits to the clinic to collect eggs, implant them and confirm that the process has been successful.
Is IVF Treatment Safe?
The IVF process itself is generally safe, but there are some risks. For example, some women experience unwanted side effects from fertility medications, and there may also be some discomfort after the extraction of the eggs. Multiple pregnancies are more common with IVF than natural conceptions, and the pregnancies themselves are slightly higher risk. Some of this increased risk may be due to the fact people who seek IVF often have health conditions that caused their infertility or are seeking treatment later in life.
How to Choose an IVF Treatment Center in India
If you’re considering IVF treatment, it’s a good idea to research several clinics and look at factors such as:
- The success rate of the center
- The types of treatment offered
- Reviews from previous users
- How experienced the staff are
- Where the center is located
- The length of the waiting list
Because a cycle can take several weeks and some couples require more than one cycle to conceive, it’s important to choose a center with staff you trust and who make you feel comfortable. Talk to the center via phone or video call before making any decisions and making the journey to India.
Preparing for IVF Treatment
Just as with preparing to conceive naturally, it can be beneficial to get as fit and healthy as possible before seeking IVF treatment. Talk to your doctor and fertility specialist to determine if there are any reasons your pregnancy might be high-risk and what you can do to help reduce that risk. The following simple lifestyle changes can be beneficial for ensuring a healthy pregnancy:
- Getting regular exercise
- Stopping drinking or smoking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Men who will be providing sperm samples may also benefit from aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What Happens After IVF Treatment?
After the insemination has taken place, there will be a 2-week waiting period before the woman can take a pregnancy test to see if the treatment has worked. Even if the initial insemination has worked, it’s not guaranteed that the pregnancy will be carried to term. If the insemination doesn’t work or the pregnancy results in a miscarriage, the specialist will advise the couple on whether they think it’s a good idea to try another round of IVF treatment.
What Is The Success Rate for IVF Treatment?
The success rate for IVF treatment depends on the ages of the people receiving the treatment and the reason the treatment is required. Younger women will typically have a higher chance of successful treatment. Indian clinics typically use state-of-the-art fertility treatments and have highly experienced consultants, increasing the chances of success. Many couples who attend clinics in India are doing so because they’re in their mid-to-late 40s or have had several unsuccessful IVF attempts in their home country. Such cases are challenging, and they may require more than one cycle of IVF treatment to achieve a successful pregnancy.
Other Forms of Fertility Treatments
Traveling to India for IVF treatment offers hope for many couples, especially those who are looking to conceive later in life and those who have severe fertility issues. Younger women may wish to consider other, simpler treatments first. For example, there are several drugs that can stimulate ovulation. If a man has a low sperm count, a couple may benefit from intrauterine insemination procedures where a sperm sample is taken, and the healthiest sperm are collected to be injected shortly after ovulation. If these treatments fail, then the couple can consider full IVF treatment.