New Delhi: With rise in the cases of coronavirus and increased expenditure in the prevailing scenario have led to delay their plan of getting a child through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure, according to health experts.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure which is used to help with fertility and assist with child conceiving.
Under this procedure, the matured eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilised by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilised egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to a uterus.
It takes three weeks for one complete cycle. Sometimes these steps are split into different parts and the process can take longer.
“People are avoiding meeting the doctors, they are basically scared. Initially, because of the lockdown, the entire business had gone down. But now, the couples are coming back to the clinics. We are taking the cases. Yet the count is very low. From around 30 couples in a month, it has come down to 10,” said Dr Ruchi Malhotra, Senior IVF consultant at Fertile Solutions IVF Centre told a leading english daily.
Dr Ruchi further added that many had to postpone the treatment because of the risk of getting infected.
Dr Shivani Singh, IVF consultant, JK Hospital, Janakpuri, said, “The pandemic has also affected the families financially. IVF is a moderately costly procedure for conceiving. The new cases are lower.”
“They don’t want to spend right now. So those who have faced any financial losses are not stepping out for the treatment for the moment,” she added.
Dr Suman Lal, Gynecologist and Infertility Specialist, stated that those women who are around 40 and are planning to postpone their pregnancy by another six months or a year are definitely going to get affected.
“We didn’t know how the virus will affect the growing fetus, so IVF was almost closed. A bit problematic for those for whom age is a factor and couldn’t conceive this year owing to the virus. So as of now, we are first evaluating the patients, if they can have a baby with normal process. Those who are at risk, we are asking them to preserve their eggs first and then opt for pregnancy when the pandemic is over,” noted Dr Suman.
Drop in visit has also affected the IVF centres.
Dr Ruchi said, “Cost of most disposables such as test tubes and others used in IVF have gone up now. So that is likely to impact the cost of overall treatment as well. The old patients who are already registered with us cannot be charged. This has hit the business no doubt.”