In the world of fertility treatments, conceiving a child through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), also known as test-tube baby, has revolutionised how couples struggling with infertility can start a family. Various other causes, such as in cases where the woman has a damaged or blocked fallopian tube or when there are genetic concerns can be taken care via IVF.
In this article, we will learn about the end-to-end IVF process and the factors that affect Test-Tube baby cost in India. We will understand the various stages of the treatment, eligibility to undergo the process, and the typical costs associated with each.
What is a Test-Tube Baby?
‘Test-tube baby’ is a term that used to refer to a baby conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) technology.
In IVF or Test-tube baby, the fertilisation of an egg by the sperm happens outside the body in a laboratory dish rather than inside the woman’s body. After fertilisation, the embryo is implanted into the woman’s uterus, which develops into a healthy baby.
How is the Test-Tube baby process done?
With advancements in medical science, the Test-Tube baby or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) process has been simplified into six easy steps:
- Ovarian Stimulation: Ovarian stimulation is a process in which hormonal medications are given to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs instead of one egg in each menstrual cycle. It is a critical step in the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) process, also known as the test-tube baby process because it allows for collecting multiple eggs for fertilisation in the laboratory. The ovarian stimulation phase typically lasts around 10-14 days.
- Egg Retrieval: Once the eggs mature, they are retrieved from the ovaries using a needle under ultrasound guidance. It is typically done under sedation and takes around 20 – 30 minutes.
- Sperm Collection: The male partner provides a semen sample, which is then prepared in the laboratory to obtain the healthiest sperm for fertilisation.
- Fertilisation and Embryo Culture: In the laboratory, the eggs and sperm are combined in a petri dish to allow fertilisation. The procedure can be done through conventional insemination or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single sperm is directly injected into the egg. The fertilised eggs (embryo / s) are cultured in a laboratory for two – six days to allow them to develop.
- Embryo Transfer: Once the embryo is cultured and fully developed, the final step involves transferring the embryo(s) into the uterus through the cervix using a thin tube. The embryo transfer itself takes around 10-15 minutes.
- Pregnancy Test: A blood test to check for Beta hCG levels is done approximately two weeks later to confirm the successful process.
The total time taken for the test-tube baby process or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) can vary depending on individual circumstances and the specific IVF protocol used by the clinic. However, on average, the entire IVF process can take 4-6 weeks from the start of ovarian stimulation to the pregnancy test.
Who is eligible for the process?
The Test-Tube baby process helps couples with difficulty conceiving a child naturally. A fertility specialist or reproductive endocrinologist typically determines eligibility for IVF, and it can depend on various factors, including:
- Age: Generally, women under 35 have a higher success rate with IVF than those older.
- Infertility: Couples who have been trying to conceive for at least a year and have not been successful may be eligible for IVF. Typical reasons for infertility include male factor infertility, ovulation disorders, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, or unexplained infertility.
- Medical conditions: Women with certain medical conditions, such as premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), may benefit from IVF.
- Sperm quality: Men with low sperm count or poor sperm motility may also benefit from IVF.
- Lifestyle factors: Various lifestyle factors, like smoking, lack of exercise and being overweight, may affect fertility and can impact the success of IVF.
Test-Tube baby cost in India
Test-Tube baby costs can vary depending on location, the clinic’s reputation, the doctors’ experience, the number of cycles needed, and the type of treatment required.
A Test-Tube baby or IVF cost in India of a single cycle can range from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1,50,000. However, the cost can increase significantly if additional procedures such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), frozen embryo transfer, and pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) are required.
Here are some of the factors that can affect the Test-Tube baby cost in India:
- Location: The cost of IVF can vary significantly depending on the city or region in India where the clinic is located.
- Clinic reputation and experience: A well-established and reputable IVF clinic with experienced doctors may charge higher fees than a less-known clinic.
- The number of cycles needed: In some cases, multiple cycles of IVF may be required to achieve pregnancy, which can increase the overall cost.
- Additional procedures: Procedures such as ICSI, PGT, and frozen embryo transfer can add to the overall cost of IVF treatment.
- Age and medical history: The woman’s age and medical history can also affect the cost of IVF treatment. Women who are older or have certain medical conditions may require additional procedures or medications, which can increase the cost.
Risks and limitations of Test-Tube baby
Like any medical procedure, IVF has potential risks that should be carefully considered before treatment. Some potential risks associated with IVF include:
- Multiple births: Using fertility medications to stimulate ovulation can increase the likelihood of multiple births, such as twins or triplets, increasing the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): Fertility medications used during IVF can cause a woman’s ovaries to become swollen and painful. In severe cases, OHSS can lead to fluid buildup in the abdomen and chest, shortness of breath, and kidney failure.
- Ectopic pregnancy: IVF can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, i.e. the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus, most common in fallopian tubes. It can be a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
- Congenital disabilities: Some studies have suggested that children born through IVF may be more likely to have certain congenital disabilities, such as heart defects and cleft lip and palate.
Some limitations of IVF include the following:
While IVF has helped millions of couples worldwide to conceive, there are still some limitations and potential drawbacks to the procedure. In this section, we will explore some of the common limitations of IVF that couples may encounter during the process.
- Test-Tube baby cost in India: IVF can be expensive and may or may not be covered by medical insurance in some cases. Multiple cycles may be required before a successful pregnancy is achieved, adding to the cost.
- Success rates: While the success rates of IVF have improved over the years, it is not a guarantee of pregnancy. Success rates can vary depending on age, the cause of infertility, and other factors.
- Emotional stress: Test-Tube baby process can be emotionally stressful for couples, particularly if multiple cycles are required or the treatment is unsuccessful.
In summary, Test-Tube baby, or in vitro fertilisation (IVF), is a form of assisted reproductive technology that can help couples with difficulty conceiving a child naturally. However, IVF has potential risks and limitations that should be carefully considered before treatment.
For couples considering IVF in India, it is essential to consult with a qualified fertility specialist to discuss their specific case and the likelihood of success with IVF. The specialist can guide whether IVF is a suitable option and what steps can be taken to minimise the risks and maximise the chances of success. You can contact the experts at HexaHealth for their valuable advice and the best treatment options available.