In today’s era of rapid modernisation, industrialization and fast life, probably a couple is losing touch with how to lead a successful marital life. Work pressure, pollution, emotional and psychological stress is eating up the urge to have sex, have babies, have intimacy with your partner. Competiveness is draining the energy which otherwise we should put in relationships.
The incidence of infertility is definitely on a rise. Many couples are taking treatments from family physician or non expert in a random manner and facing disappointments. Many a times taking general treatment from a gynaecologist is also not working. The next step is to go to a proper infertility specialist. Infertility specialist may advise a couple to go for IVF treatment. Now comes the dilemma. Should I go for IVF? Will it be successful? Will it be very costly? Are the babies born out of IVF normal? Is it very painful? So many questions a couple has to face and take a right decision.
Now the question is how to take a proper decision. It is of course not a simple decision, but I will try to simplify it. Normal reproductive life is from 20 yr to 40 yrs for a female. Pregnancy should better happen during this period or else the chances as well as complications during pregnancy are very high. Aftre 35 yrs age in a female, the fertility and chances of conception rapidly goes down. Even the success rate for IVF is around 40-50% before 35 yrs which goes down to 25-30% by 37 yrs and 10-15% by 40 yrs. So one thing is clear that we don’t have unlimited time to try and get pregnant. Before 35 yrs we can take time to conceive without IVF but as the age increases to beyond 35 yrs, chances are more that IVF is required.
Apart from that, if the female is suffering from other issues such as tubal block, severe endometriosis, unexplained infertility, premature ovarian failure, genetic diseases, severe PCOS or ovulation abnormality the patient should go for IVF procedure. Similarly if the semen count is very low, lot of abnormalities in sperm structure, absence of sperms in semen, severe sexual dysfunction the couple is advised to go for advanced fertility treatments.
Coming to other questions regarding possibility of success; it depends on many things. Age of female, number of eggs in ovary, semen parameters, uterine factors are all going to affect the fertility rate. Other important things being qualification and experience of the doctor, number of IVF cycles done by the clinician, laboratory and equipments quality, embryologist experience; all count in getting a good result in isolation and in combination.
But now days the cost of IVF has come down significantly as compared to 5-10 yrs back. The actual cost varies from clinic to clinic and from patient to patient. But if the cost analysis of the amount spent over a period of time for simpler fertility treatments and cost of IVF is compared, there is not much of a difference. Following is a plan for couples to take a decision. This plan by no means is a letter on stone but the doctor and couple may change it depending on circumstances.