From the past few years, patients from faraway foreign lands have been traveling to India for the most advantageous medical treatments, that too, at a cost that doesn’t burn a hole in their pockets. Infertility is also a big concern, for which, India offers a wide range of medical treatments. There are many medical clinics in India, which offer IVF treatment as a safe and efficient way to get aspiring mothers pregnant. But experienced medics suggest that it is important to have plenty of awareness related to all the aspects of infertility and IVF treatment before opting for the same. Here is a guidebook, comprising of all the necessary information you need to know for stepping ahead with IVF treatment in India:

How the IVF process works?

Here is a step-by-step guide to the process of IVF:

  • The woman’s normal menstrual cycle is shut with regular injections or nasal spray.
  • Fertility hormone injections are given to the woman to rouse her ovaries. This way, she produces not just one but several eggs.
  • When the eggs are developed, a fine needle is used to collect them, under light sedation, with the help of ultrasound.
  • After extraction of eggs, they are fertilised in the research laboratory with quality sperm given by a benefactor or the woman’s partner.
  • Embryos or fertilised eggs are then developed in an incubator for some days.
  • Using a thin tube, one or two fit embryos are shifted into the uterus of the woman through vagina and cervix.
  • If an embryo fruitfully implants, the woman conceives. She can confirm the same with a pregnancy test after two weeks.
  • Any outstanding fit embryos can be frozen and deposited for future use if desirable.

Please note that women who have IVF treatment, often have more than one cycle. Also, there are many distinctions to the IVF procedure. For instance, a donor can be used for collecting sperm or eggs. In some cases, a designated surrogate may carry the pregnancy.

Chances of success with IVF

  • On average, every woman has about 1 in 5 chances of becoming pregnant with every cycle of IVF.
  • The probability of getting pregnant through IVF is higher for women younger than 35 years of age, and lower for older women. Thus, it decreases with increasing age.
  • Some women can get pregnant right with the first cycle, whereas some need up to 5 cycles of treatment to be successful, and some never fall pregnant.

Hang-ups related to IVF

Is IVF procedure painful?

During an IVF cycle, there can be many stages of pain. The first stage features injecting medications, which helps in developing the woman’s eggs. The next stage brings the pain and discomfort of bloating and enlarging ovaries after the development of eggs. This is also important as the more the eggs, the higher is the success rate of conceiving. The third stage underlines the pain of egg retrieval, wherein a fine needle is used to collect the eggs, with the help of ultrasound, under light sedation. But due to modern day anaesthesia, the pain is minimal. But some clinics perform the process of egg retrieval without fully sedating the woman to save the cost, which can definitely be painful. After the retrieval, the patients are injected with progesterone. These oil-based injections are different from the stimulation ones; the needle is larger and thus, causes pain. For patients who find the pain of these injections intolerable has the option of using vaginal creme or vaginal suppositories containing progesterone. After some days when the embryos are transferred back into the woman’s uterus, there can be some discomfort and pain, but it is reported to be tolerable.

How much does it cost?

Although the costs of IVF treatment in India varies from clinic to clinic and doctor to doctor, they range to up to INR 1.5 to 2 lakh, including the cost of egg freezing. As this cost can be highly unaffordable for some couples, most of the clinics offer the benefit of monthly installments with nil or minimal interest.

Is it safe?

Many couples are worried if this treatment is safe and that if their samples can be shuffled with another couple’s. But it is a cent percent safe treatment and the renowned clinics have professional staff and doctors, who will never adopt any carelessness in the procedure.

Read: 15 Reasons Why You Are Not Getting Pregnant

Will I conceive in one go?

Compared to the normal pregnancy rate, every cycle of IVF has a fifty to sixty percent probability of getting the aspirant pregnant. It is evident that every woman would want to conceive in one go but that is not certain. Usually, every woman has to take multiple cycles of IVF to finally get pregnant. Whereas some women get pregnant in the very first cycle, some take five to six, and some others never fall pregnant at all.

Is freezing the eggs important?

Freezing the eggs is really important for a successful IVF procedure. It is well-known that many women do not conceive with the first IVF cycle. In cases where the woman doesn’t conceive in one go, the frozen eggs can be used for more cycles, which substantially minimizes the entire effort and cost of taking the samples and fertilizing the egg again and again.

Check: IVF Treatment Cost in India