With the current population of 600 million young people, India is likely to become the world’s youngest country by 2020. This humongous number is thus a reason for the country going through a paradigm shift in both lifestyle and thinking. The progressiveness is visible with topics such as menstrual cycles or sanitary pads that were a taboo earlier being now used as themes for a commercial Bollywood movie. In terms of medicine and social well-being, the youth are openly acknowledging and accepting the earlier closed-door topics like adoption, IVF and surrogacy.
Of the many developments, India has particularly seen a rise in the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) services market which is expected to reach $829.5 million by 2023 from $256.0 million in 2016, as per a report of Allied Market Research (AMR). IVF is a procedure that assists in conceiving a child with the eggs and sperms and combined immediately in a laboratory to create an embryo. They then injected back into the uterus in an attempt to get the patient pregnant right away. The boost is this industry is said to be because of an increase in awareness, modern lifestyle, and a whopping 27.5 million couples suffering from infertility in the country. This high number is because of late marriages becoming a norm, stressful lives and women becoming career oriented. These changes have steered to fading of social stigma that was once attached to IVF that led to people hiding from their families about this process of having a baby and even refusing to acknowledge their doctors in public.
Furthermore, factors like openness for such treatment especially amongst the non-metro regions, and high success rates of about 60-65% because of enhancement in healthcare services and good quality drugs has resulted in the overall development of the IVF market in India.
Another major reason for the increase in people opting for such procedures is the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2016 that was cleared by the Union Cabinet, along with Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill-2017 and decriminalization of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. These Bills have played a prominent role in giving hope to many people who till now had given up on the thought of having their own baby.
Of the many positives of this procedure, one cannot deny that it comes with a cost which can result in happiness for life. Each IVF cycle is anywhere between Rs 1.2 to Rs. 2.6 lakhs, depending upon many factors like age of the woman, the status of the ovaries, the amount of hormonal stimulation required, uterine lining, quality, sperm counts, quality, motility, etc.
But with 10-15 percent of the married couples in India already facing the problem of infertility, as per Initio, a research conducted by Bangalore-based medical technology company, having a solution available is worth spending money on. Another interesting fact that came across in the report is that it is not a problem of a particular gender. As per data, female infertility accounts for 40-50 percent whereas, male infertility at about 30-40 percent and in some cases, the reason is that of both the partners.
However, amongst the positives, IVF procedure comes with its share of complications some of which are multiple births i.e. in case more than one embryo is implanted in the uterus, premature delivery and low birth weight, swollen and pain in ovaries due to injectable fertility drugs. Miscarriage which is a worry of many is said to be similar to that of a woman conceiving naturally, at around 15 to 25 percent.
Across the globe, over 6 and half million babies have been born through IVF. India got its first IVF baby 40 years ago and today the IVF babies born in the country are no longer seen differently. This has resulted in the nation standing strong in the reproductive medicine industry and for IVF treatments. In fact, Delhi-IVF and Fertility Centre, a leading fertility center and one of India’s first, in its 25+ years have given birth to 11,000+ babies of India and 55+ of other countries. Being the pioneer in this field the center has been an architect of bringing a change in the industry and also played a crucial role in many scientific breakthroughs. From a success rate of 5% to now around 50-80%, IVF babies of the clinic are today doctors, engineers, digital marketing professionals, and state-level athletes. They have also been instrumental in helping many hearing and listening impaired couples give birth to babies with no imperfections through this process.
The improvement in technology has also eradicated many myths like IVF babies suffer from certain abnormalities or health issues. The rise in people opting for this treatment only proves that the process may differ but the end result is to bring a new life into this world.
From a business perspective, there is certainly a boom in the IVF industry in India, but for us doctors, success is completing many incomplete stories and helping fulfill numerous wishes.