More couples turn to IVF to delay families
Freeze eggs, sperm for later use; Ovarian tumours another reason
BENGALURU: Awareness about in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) processes has also increased the number of people opting for egg and sperm freezing as an alternative to delay starting a family, experts observed.
Dr Sowmya Sangamesh, consultant obstetrician and fertility specialist at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said, “Over the past few years, there has been a five-fold increase in the number of women wanting to opt for egg freezing, mostly by women who are career driven, and want to excel in their profession before focussing on childbearing.”
Egg freezing was mostly suggested to cancer patients, but has now trickled down to young people who wish to delay parenthood, said Dr Deepthi Bawa, consultant gynaecologist (reproductive medicine and IVF), Sparsh Hospital.
Since cancer has become more prevalent in India, especially in the 30-40 age group, more women are considering freezing their eggs, while men are freezing sperm, Bawa added.
With July 25 observed as World IVF Day, doctors explained that IVF is fertility treatment where medication is used to stimulate egg growth in ovaries, and can be frozen for later use. Women undergo IVF treatment or consider freezing their eggs for multiple reasons, including chemotherapy, ovarian tumours, delayed childbearing or risk of premature ovarian failure. It is suggested that they freeze their eggs in their late 20s, as the quality of eggs deteriorates with time, reducing chances of fertilisation in later years.
Dr Sangamesh also clarified that the egg freezing process does not take away from a woman’s egg reserve, or affect her chances of conceiving naturally; rather, it helps as a backup if there is difficulty in conception. The rate of spontaneous pregnancy after IVF ranges from 10 to 35 per cent. Hence, if frozen eggs remain unutilised, they can even be donated to other eligible couples. The eggs can be utilised up to 10 years, and currently cost Rs 1.5-2.5 lakh.
WOMAN SEEKS IVF TREATMENT, ADVISED NATURAL METHOD
Bengaluru: A 30-year-old woman, married for five years, complained of being unable to achieve vaginal penetration. She was extremely fearful of the pain and was unable to undergo a gynaecological pelvic examination too. Doctors explained that the condition is called vaginismus. The woman was uneducated about sexual practices and did not have anyone to share her personal issues with either. After five years of marriage, her family started pressuring her to conceive, and visited Nova IVF Fertility to undergo IVF treatment to conceive. Dr Aviva Pinto, fertility consultant, explained that even for IVF treatment, she needs to undergo pelvic examination and transvaginal scans. After a lot of counselling, she was advised to try conceiving naturally for a year, and seek IVF treatment if unsuccessful.