An International Committee monitoring progress in assisted reproduction reported that, there are more than 8 million babies born to the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technique and other advance fertility treatments. This remarkable achievement is just after forty years since, the world’s first test tube baby was born. If this is such a remarkable technique this surely forms a case to learn more about it. So, let’s go in greater detail. In IVF the egg and sperm are fertilized in a laboratory to create an embryo that can be implanted in a woman’s uterus, hopefully resulting in successful pregnancies. In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate since then, has almost halved to 2.4 children per woman recorded in the previous year. It shows that there is a remarkable fall in the fertility rate. One in every five couples has difficulty in conceiving.
Countries are having a “baby bust” which means there are insufficient babies to maintain their population size. But a natural question that arises is that when there is a baby bust how is the population still considered to be such a huge concern? The answer lies in considering that there would actually be profound consequences for societies with “more grandparents than grandchildren” which is the major cause of concern.
The inability to conceive can occur due to genetic factors, prevailing health conditions, blocked tubes and even deteriorating environmental conditions. Unknowingly, people are becoming the prey and a host to life-wrecking, upsetting and alarming problems like hormonal imbalances, increased weight, augmented stress levels, endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), infrequent ovulation or disturbed menstruation cycles, fibroids, lower sperm count and other multiple issues. Lifestyle, environmental factors and age remain the apple of discord in increasing infertility. As in today’s time having babies is not considered to be an urgency soon after marriage, people are more focused towards making their careers. These include both men and women alike. They plan to conceive later in life but with age the fertility decreases. Environmental factors such as air pollution, heavy metals such as lead, mercury etc, pesticides are also responsible especially among men as sperm count is reducing due to these as per studies. In addition to this changes in lifestyle are also contributing to falling fertility. Poor nutrition, increasing BMI, smoking, consuming alcohol, excessive intake of caffeine, drugs can be some reasons to affect the fertility of men and women.
In-Vitro Fertilization is a gleam of expectations for all those who are facing a tough time going through the phase of childless. Not only IVF but services like Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or artificial insemination, egg freezing, donor egg treatment, donor embryo treatment,
endoscopic diagnosis are accepted and practised extensively with newer techniques being introduced. As I see it the most important reason for this “boom” is an increase in the need for these services created by societal trends. Due to the issues with childbirth people are requiring assistance from technology such as egg donation. The increase in egg donation cycles speaks of this trend. Another issue people are seeking help for is to have “healthier” off springs using options such as PGS and PGD. The goal of both PGD and PGS is to increase the chance of selecting a healthy embryo that will develop into a healthy baby.
Over the last few years many start-ups have also started entered the fertility space touching everything from hardware and diagnostics to community-driven mobile apps and tracking apps such as Modern Fertility, Adia, Kindbody, overture, Binto etc. With the rise of start-ups entering into the fertility space, there would be an impact on the funding into this space, employer benefits, and many other impacts on the birth rate.
Success rates are also increasing as technologies have improved. Though demand for infertility treatment is rising, the high cost is still a huge barrier to many people. Despite this, it is important to note that India is at par with the international standards in terms of the technology required in the fertility business. The skilled doctors, low-cost technology, increased awareness, negligible government administration and best services with sky touching success rates have made India a preferred destination for fertility tourism. India is also home to some of the finest international IVF centers and top-notch IVF doctors. In India, IVF treatment is available at a much reasonable and inexpensive cost in comparison to other nations. The lack of availability of donor eggs in these countries eventually results in considering our country for Infertility Treatments. Infertile couples from countries like UK, Spain, Australia, France generally turn up to India from IVF Treatments.
The investors have also found a huge growth potential in the fertility market. They have tapped the right resources in such a situation and is blooming. It has now being peddling hopes to all such people who are unable to conceive naturally. It is extending the promise to serve everyone and thus is helping singles and same-sex couples as social norms shift and also young women who want to postpone bear babies early in life and later need help when they eventually want to. It is seen as a business with good margin.