If you and your partner are struggling to have a baby, you’re not alone. A big percent of couples in India and across the world are fighting a battle against infertile. Infertility is defined as not being able to conceive despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples. Infertility may result from an issue with either you or your partner, or a combination of factors that interfere with pregnancy. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies that significantly improves your chances of getting pregnant.
At GarbhaGudi, we have been delivering miracles every day for over ten years now. We have on board a team of infertility specialists like clinicians, embryologists, andrology technicians and paramedical staff who work closely with you to develop a personalized fertility treatment plan. Before starting with any infertility investigations or treatment, our doctors work to understand your general and sexual habits. Based on this, they may make recommendations to help you conceive naturally.
We offer a wide range of infertility treatment like IUI, IVF, donor programs (egg donors, semen donors, embryo donation), surrogacy and more. As a leading destination for fertility treatments for Indians and foreigners, our fertility center offers hope to patients around the world. The treatment plan for a couple is decided based on various factors like what’s causing infertility, how long has one been infertile, age, lifestyle, genetic issues, earlier treatment taken etc. When normal pregnancy doesn’t occur, couples can often achieve a pregnancy with the use of assisted reproductive technology or ART.
At GarbhaGudi, we offer treatments to both men and women for infertility.
In some cases, improving lifestyle and behavioral factors can improve chances for pregnancy. Discontinuing select medications, reducing or eliminating harmful substances, improving frequency and timing of intercourse, regular exercise may help.
TIP : An andrologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating male sexuality and male infertility related issues. He is usually an urologist who has done super-specialization in treating male sexual health and male fertility issues
- Medications. We may prescribe medications to improve sperm count along with an increase in testicular functions like sperm production and quality.
- Surgery. Certain conditions may require surgery to reverse a blockage and in other cases surgically repairing a varicocele may improve overall chances for pregnancy.
- Sperm retrieval. There are some techniques to obtain sperm when ejaculation is a problem or when no sperm is present in the ejaculated fluid. Examples are: Testicular Sperm Extraction, Testicular Sperm Aspiration, Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration, Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration, Microsurgical Testicular Sperm Extraction etc. Recovery after sperm retrieval depends on the method used and recovery time can range from a few hours to a couple of days.
Infertility treatments for women
Thanks to advances in medical treatments, conceiving is a lot easier today for women facing infertility. Some treatments offered at GarbhaGudi are: Ovulation stimulation to regulate or induce ovulation for pregnancy, surgery to restore fertility, surgical intervention to correct physiological issues like cysts, fibroids, myomas, endometriosis, PCO etc. and assisted reproductive techniques like IUI, IVF, assisted hatching, donor egg, embryo and sperm. In cases where it’s not possible for the woman to carry forward pregnancy, we also offer surrogacy in accordance with the Government of India’s rules and regulations.
What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the name given to the gamut of all fertility treatment available in medical field for treating infertility. An ART team includes gynecologists, fertility specialists, surgeons, andrologists, physicians, psychologists, embryologists, lab technicians, nurses and allied health professionals who work together to help infertile couples achieve pregnancy. Some forms of ART are mentioned below.
Semen is collected from the partner (or a donor, if needed) which then goes through a process called “sperm washing” that collects healthy sperm from the semen. Then the insemination of the washed sperm, into the uterus is done. This is a simple procedure in which the doctor slides a thin, flexible tube through the cervix into the uterus and a small syringe is used to insert the washed sperm through the tube directly into the uterus. Pregnancy occurs if sperm fertilizes the egg, and the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus.
First, medication is given to ensure several eggs mature and are ready for fertilization. Then the doctor takes the eggs out of the ovary with the help of a procedure called ovum pick-up (OPU). This is done under anaesthesia and requires a lot of skill and practice. An embryologist then mixes the extracted eggs with ‘washed’ sperm from the partner, in the lab to help the sperm fertilize the eggs. These fertilized eggs (embryos) are then cultured and grown in the lab for a few days and their growth is tracked until they become viable embryos.
Subsequently, one or more embryos are then directly introduced into the uterus using a procedure called embryo transfer. A successful pregnancy occurs if any of the embryos implant successfully in the lining of the uterus. There’s a 55% chance for having a baby after one cycle (month) of IVF treatment and success rates vary greatly between IVF clinics. At GarbhaGudi, our success rates stand at over 66 % which is one of the best in the infertility treatment sector.
ICSI procedure requires a very high level of skill and lot of practice, as the eggs and sperms are all microscopic in size. This fertilization has to be done without damaging either the sperm or the egg. The fertilised egg is then cultured in the lab under ideal conditions, for a few days and its progress is tracked. The fertilized eggs start to multiply and they become embryos.
Once viable embryos are available, one or more embryo is then transferred into the womb in the same way as in an IVF cycle.
Laser assisted hatching requires a high degree of skill on part of the embryologist and specialized equipment.
TIP: This may not be needed in all cases of frozen embryo transfer, but only when the zona (outer wall) of the embryo is very thick and hard.
This is a very sensitive topic as the implication is that part of the DNA of the child will not come from the parents. But the concept is slowly becoming common and there is more acceptance from the couples. Sperm and egg donation is also legal in India, as long as certain rules are adhered to.
The four important aspects for sperm and egg donation are
- Anonymity – it is mandatory to ensure complete anonymity of the donor and the recipient. Under no circumstance should the donor know about the identity of the recipient couple or the other way. This is essential to ensure further legal and social complications don’t crop up after a few years. Anonymity has to be maintained at all stages, from collection of gametes until transfer of gametes. GarbhaGudi has partnered with ICMR approved semen banks for donor semen and are sourced from these semen banks. Even for egg donation, GarbhaGudi works with authorized ART Banks who are legally allowed to provide egg donors and surrogate mothers.
The whole procedure of stimulating these donors and extracting eggs from their ovaries is done in a very confidential manner. At all stages, data is maintained in a “need-to-know” basis. Only those people who critically need to know about the link between the donor and the recipient will be aware of this link.
- Donor Screening and Matching – Egg donors and semen donors need to be screened clinically for 2 things – viral infections and quality of gametes. Then matching has to be done to help the couple have a child which physically looks like one or both of the parents.
Screening – Screening the donor for infectious diseases like HIV, HbSAg etc. is very important to prevent unwanted problems for the recipient couple. Exhaustive lab investigations are done to ensure no such diseases are transmitted to the child. When procuring donor semen, GarbhaGudi gets it from authorized semen banks, where the government regulated quarantine periods and processes are maintained and adhered to.
Quality of the gametes – To ensure that the eggs and semen being taken from a donor is of good quality, some basic requirements are to be met. A semen donor has to undergo a proper semen analysis to ensure equality of semen is as per requirements. Egg donation process is a little more elaborate. All egg donors have to be between 20 to 30 years old, should be married, should have consent from their husbands, should have had a minimum of one child of her own and the child should have reached the age of 2 years and should not have any family history of hereditary diseases / disorders. Additionally, the lady should not have donated eggs in the last 6 months.
Matching – It is important to match the recipient’s physical characteristics with the donor’s characteristics. The usual attributes that are matched are Ethnicity (South Indian, North Indian, Caucasian, African etc.) Blood group Height and Skin Color Color of the eyes and hair We do NOT encourage or support matching on religion, caste, education, social standing (rich / poor) and other social attributes.
- Legal Consent – It is mandatory for both partners to provide clear and unambiguous consent at the hospital (in person) to the usage of donor sperms or eggs. Egg donors should also provide legal consent for the treatment after understanding the risk. They also need to confirm that they will be available for the whole duration of the treatment and will adhere to the guidelines and instructions given to them by the doctor and the hospital.
- Ethical Treatment – There are guidelines defined by the Govt. of India on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Adherence to this is very important. GarbhaGudi has its SOPs which are followed for all donor programs. These SOPs are based on the ART guidelines and are more stringent than what has been prescribed by the Govt. of India.