Infertility affects up to 15 per cent of reproductive-aged couples worldwide according to the World Health Organisation. Doctors say that the overall prevalence of primary infertility in India is estimated to be around 16.8 per cent. The incidence is higher in urban areas such as Mumbai.
However, being diagnosed as infertile is not the end of the world say doctors. Advancements in modern medicine have helped couples have children after being diagnosed infertile. One of the most popular treatments is the IVF procedure but there are couples who end up facing failure while trying IVF. Dr Hrishikesh Pai, consultant gynaecologist and infertility specialist, says there can be a number of reasons for IVF failure, from uterine abnormalities such as previously diagnosed uterine fibroid, endometrial polyps, septum and so on, to a thin endometrium. “Apart from these, IVF failure could be the result of genetic abnormalities in the gametes , autoimmune diseases, other diseases in the mother such as uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid disorders, etc., or the female’s inability to produce eggs for fertilization. Another common reason for failed IVF procedure failure is embryo transfer,” adds Dr Pai.
To prevent repeated IVF failures, start with a thorough examination involving ultrasound and complete blood tests. Dr Sunita Arora, consultant gynaecologist and infertility specialist, recommends a laparoscopic hysteroscopy test to look for and deal with any physical obstacles in conception. “Your specialist will make sure that your endometrium is fit for implantation in thickness and quality, as well as send a sample to rule out tuberculosis. Hydrosalpinges (the presence of a fluid-filled distension of the fallopian tube) can be clipped to avoid the embryotoxic fluid from causing IVF failures,” she explains. Once all other causes are ruled out, the specialist starts the right ovarian stimulation.
Failure of the IVF procedure is a temporary setback say specialists. Dr Rohan Palshetkar, consultant gynaecologist and infertility specialist recommends options such as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).“In ICSI, a single sperm with proper shape and genetic makeup is chosen under a high-definition microscope, and injected into the egg to form a healthy embryo. On the other hand, PGD is a screening test done on the embryos to identify any genetic disorder that one or both the parents may have,” explains Dr Rohan Palshetkar.
IVF is a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. Therefore, a lot depends on the abilities of the specialist. Choosing an experienced IVF centre is of utmost importance and determines the success rate of the procedure. The other most important factor, of course, is whether you are ready for it. This is why infertility specialists recommend opting for IVF again only when the cause of the failure of previous IVF procedure is determined, and only after the couple is emotionally and physically ready for the procedure again.