Designer Babies: The Facts About In Vitro Fertilization

Hospitals and clinics claim to treat 15 to 100 women every month, a big leap from the past few years when the figures were in single digits. A reason why this treatment is often used as the last resort is due to the expenses. While some clinics charge Rs 90,000 for the entire procedure, which includes 60 cycles, others say it can cost up to Rs 50,000 per cycle. And the success rate is only 35-45 per cent. Women between the ages of 35 and 45 are the ones who usually opt for IVF. "There are many other means such as artificial insemination, adoption, etc. that women first think of before coming for IVF," says Dr Anuradha Kapoor of Max Healthcare.

Other options for women include freezing the eggs or the embryo but in India this is still in experimental stages. "These are all still in experimental stages and we are not offering these services yet to people except for cancer patients. If we feel that the treatment will cause damage to their ovaries, and they are young, we preserve some of their ovarian tissue or eggs and they can be inserted back once the treatment is over. Only 1-5 per cent of the eggs freeze so it is still at a very experimental stage," says Verma.

There are over 300 IVF clinics in India, and new ones are opening every month. Globally, over a million IVF babies have been born after Louise Brown. A WHO report puts the global ART (artificial reproductive technologies) market at over Rs 25,000 crore a year.

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