Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Planning for infertility treatment ? These are the things you should know...

Quite often, I have heard my patients saying, “we are taking loan for IVF, so we have to be successful”, “We sold our house for this treatment, as we have waited so long for a baby”  etc etc.

As you can see, this is not the right approach, as it puts a lot of pressure on the patient and doctor. There is no guarantee that treatment will be successful, but it is not the end of the road.

Good planning is inevitable when you decide to have a baby through infertility treatment. Saving through intelligent spending is always better than taking loans or mortgaging.

Before embarking on the treatment, make sure that you have a clear budget and time period to spend the allotted money.  You can discuss the budget with your infertility specialist and they will guide you in choosing the right path. 

If you are young and healthy, you can try some simple treatment options, which will not cost much. Make sure you do a thorough investigation, as it can be very helpful in identifying the underlying problem and aid in choosing the correct treatment.

Tube tests should be done in addition to blood tests and semen analysis. Laparoscopy may sound expensive, but is actually a gold standard investigation, wherein many infertility problems can be identified and solved. If you keep treating without knowing the actual cause, you are going to shell out more money than laparoscopy and will just end up where you started without any positive results.

Procedures like IUI help in achieving pregnancy only in 10 to 20 % cases per cycle. So before commencing IUI, you need to keep a realistic picture and budget for at least 4 to 6 cycles as it might take several months and attempts to get  successful pregnancy from IUI.

If the woman is ovulating, medicines might be sufficient in most cases. But if there is no ovulation as in the condition of PCOS, it may require taking three to four or even more injections. Some of these injections are very expensive; hence it is better to find out the exact cost of the injection before commencing the treatment. 

Miscarriages can not only be emotionally draining, but also burn a hole in your pocket resulting in extra burden. So take precautions and try to get your gametes (egg and sperm) fit and healthy by changing your lifestyle. Eating healthy, doing moderate exercise, quitting smoking etc will result in healthy gametes which in turn will produce healthy embryos. A common cause of miscarriage is unhealthy embryo (nothing to do with the clinic or the team). 

If the condition of the tubes is really bad, chances for ectopic pregnancy will be very high. This can be sometimes very dangerous, so you should consider IVF to avoid complications, surgery and the costs.

In cases of severe male factor infertility or azoospermia, ( absence of sperm ) it is better that you opt for donor sperm  IUI, rather than doing repeated ICSI, if you are hard on cash. I feel really sorry, when I see poor patients coming to me after 3 or even 5 ICSI failures for donor sperm treatment. It would have cost them less than 5 % of the cost of ICSI.

If your age is advanced, say above 37, chances of the egg quality being good is reduced considerably. It is advisable to check your follicular count ( number of eggs ) and AMH test before you start  IVF. If the figures are bad, you can opt for donor egg IVF straight away, instead of doing it after failed IVF.

Many patients feel that ART procedures like IVF and ICSI are too expensive. Sometimes, they would have done IUI for more than 10 times and spent even more than the cost of one IVF.

Finally, if nothing works, without delay think of adoption because the whole process is time-consuming and restricted by age factor. 

Surrogacy is also a good option for those who can afford it. Instead of having multiple cycles (It is really shocking that I have seen patients who had 15 cycles of IVF) just do maximum 2 or 3 cycles and if there is no positive result, think of other options like donor egg, donor embryo, surrogacy or adoption.

Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre
+91 484 2475031,  +91 484 2475034, 


Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 18 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in the UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF Centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI, donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy. Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high-risk pregnancies.


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