40 yrs of Louis Brown & 4 Questions that you need an answer to!!
The birth of the world’s first IVF baby Louis Brown, has been one of the most remarkable event in the history of Reproductive Medicine. A treatment that changed the lives of millions of people around the world and it still continues to do so. It is estimated by an independent agency that as of today there is an estimate of over 6 million babies born using this technique. The technique has evolved to a large extent in this last 40 yrs with several new techniques and instruments that has been developed to make this process more efficient.
With this blog, the most important message for every couple that goes in for any infertility treatment is to understand the process. Each patient should be aware of four primary questions:
1) What is their problem?
2) What and why has been a particular treatment suggested?
3) What is the success rate of the treatment?
4) What is the cost of the treatment suggested?
Problems can vary from couple to couple and can be contributed from either one or both of partners. In a lot of situations, we are sometimes not able to identify any specific problem too. So, the requirement of a treatment starts from this identification. Sometimes we will need to treat the couple depending on the problem, whereas in certain situation we might have to start treatment to improve the chances of pregnancy. The treatment can vary from just counselling to IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) and further to IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), depending on the diagnosis and the age of the female partner.
The success of each of these treatment modalities are different and major contribution to this is from the cause and severity of the disease and also the age of the patients. The same diagnosis can have different treatment or success rate depending on the age of the patient. A young couple with only male factor infertility can have very good results with an IVF treatment, whereas an older female with diseases like endometriosis can have poorer outcomes. So, it’s important for you to understand the results that you should expect before you start the treatment, so that you can be mentally prepared for it. As majority of the patients are optimistic about their result and are totally disheartened when its fails and hence go into a phase of depression. The best results that you can expect for the best group of patients is not more than 40-50% and that means, over 50% of these patients can fail their first cycle of IVF.
Another significant aspect to plan for the treatment financially and that again is a major challenge in infertility. Certain patients might get pregnant with just counselling and certain people might require IVF. So primarily the cost depends on the number of cycles and the type of treatment they go through.
So, we believe each of these questions is required to be clearly understood by each patient while they are undergoing fertility treatment. This will help them to not only prepare and accept the fallacies of this treatment but also understand the efforts involved in a positive pregnancy.
About the Author
Dr. Parasuram Gopinath is the Senior Consultant & Scientific Director at CIMAR Fertility Center with branches in several parts of Kerala. Tamil Nadu & Dubai. After Dr Parasuram completed his post-graduation in Obstetrics and Gynecology, his work has been mainly focused on infertility and embryology. He had undergone further training in Advanced Reproductive Techniques like Oocyte Cryopreservation, IMSI, IVM etc. from several centers in Singapore, Germany & Canada. He has personally done over 3000 ICSI procedures and was instrumental in introducing the technique of IMSI in South India. He is an Invited speaker at Several National conferences on Infertility and do also have several publications to his credit.
Dr. Parasuram Gopinath, MBBS. MS(OBG)
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