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74-year-old Woman Gives Birth To Twins Through IVF: Growth Of IVF In India, Success Rate & Cost

In recent news, a 74-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh has set a record by giving birth to twins through IVF technology. Mangayamma has delivered twin girls at the Ahalya Nursing Home in Guntur.

Dr Sanakkayala Umashankar, who headed the team of four doctors said that the mother and the babies are healthy and are doing fine. The delivery was a caesarean. Mangayamma and her husband Yerramatti Raja Rao, 78, had been married for more than 56 years with no children [1] .

Mother Of Two At 74

When Mangayamma came across the news of a neighbour who got pregnant at the age of 55 via IVF, the married couple took the joined decision of meeting up with IVF experts at the nursing home.

The doctors collected the husband's sperm and tested it for the IVF process and once it was positively cleared, the journey began. The doctors began the process in November - December and attained success in the first cycle itself. Mangayamma conceived in January and on 2 September, the doctors performed caesarean as normal delivery is not advisable for her age [2] .

She will not able to breastfeed the babies but that will not affect the health of the babies in any way as they can be fed with milk obtained from milk, the head doctor pointed out.

What Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility issues. The process involves fertilisation of an egg with the sperm outside the body. The IVF process stimulates the ovary to grow follicles, the fluid-filled sacs in the ovary that contain eggs. The process is called 'in vitro' as it is done outside the body.

The success ratio rate for IVF depends on certain aspects such as the age of the woman, years of infertility, cause of infertility, quality of the sperm, type of embryo transfer and whether self-eggs or donor eggs [3] [4] .

The success rate is higher in younger women and the procedure takes a period of 17 to 20 days. The first IVF cycle will often be successful at a high-quality IVF programme, however, in case of a failed IVF, the woman can take it up again with a break of 2 to 3 months.

In vitro fertilization or IVF, technology has been in prominence in India for years [5] .

Infertility In India

Over 30 million Indians, both men and women, suffer from infertility. Consequently, the country faces a high burden of infertility with 22 to 33 million couples suffering from lifetime infertility. About 40 to 50 per cent of infertility among infertile couples are females and the male factor is on a rise, with 30 to 40 per cent [6] .

Urbanisation, pollution, hormonal changes and job pressure are some of the main reasons apart from genetics, causing the problem of infertility in India [7] . Apart from the aforementioned, damage in the fallopian tubes, ovulation disorders, low sperm count and endometriosis are some of the specific reasons for infertility among the Indian population. Reports suggest that, with 22 to 33 million couples suffering from infertility in the country, only 1 per cent are seeking treatment.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) In India

Harsha Chawda is India's, first test-tube baby. Conceived via IVF in 1968, Harsha's parents Mani and Shyam approached Dr Indira Hinduja in 1986 when the term IVF was alien in the country. It was Dr Indira's 18th attempt at IVF and Mani got pregnant with the first IVF cycle. Contrary to the popular assumption that a child born out of IVF will not be as healthy as a 'natural' baby, Harsha grew up strong and healthy and conceived without any complications or external interventions [8] .

The test tube baby technique, though in practice in the western world, was not established in India until 1986. But with Harsha's birth, the scene has shifted drastically because as of today, India is one of the most popular destinations in the world for IVF treatments.

In comparison to other countries, the IVF treatments in India are exceptionally affordable. The availability of state-of-the-art technology, experienced IVF specialists, advanced facilities and helpful medical tour consultants to help international patients are some of the benefits of getting IVF treatments in India [9] . The success rate of IVF treatment in India ranges from 30 to 35 per cent per embryo transfer.

In 2015, the total demand for IVF cycles were 100,000 and it is expected to reach 260,000 by 2020 - an annual growth of 20 per cent.

IVF Treatment Cost In India

India has a prominent name in the field of medical tourism, with infertility treatments being the centre of it. The low price and foolproof quality provided in the country is the best in the world, reports suggest [10] .

For the basic IVF treatment cycle, the average cost is Rs 2,50,000 - Rs 4,50,000. And for the advanced treatment cycle, an additional of Rs 2,70,000 can come up. Mumbai has the most expensive, with an average cost between Rs 2,00,000 - Rs 3,00,000 and Kolkata has the least with Rs 65,000 - Rs 80,000.

However, one has to be extremely careful and patient in choosing the right place for the treatment. Because, the treatment is primarily dependent on infertility workup and hence, varies from one person to other.

Infographics by Kshitij Sharma

View Article References
  1. [1] Pravan, P. (2019, September 05). 74-year-old woman sets record, gives birth to twin baby girls in Guntur.
  2. [2] NDTV. (2019, September 06). At 74, Andhra Woman Becomes The Oldest-Ever To Give Birth.
  3. [3] Amrane, S., Vitez, S., Palmerola, K. L., & Forman, E. J. (2018). HCG trigger based on follicle size as compared to set stimulation length results in shorter stimulation with favorable in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. Fertility and Sterility, 110(4), e242.
  4. [4] Ventura-Juncá, P., Irarrázaval, I., Rolle, A. J., Gutiérrez, J. I., Moreno, R. D., & Santos, M. J. (2015). In vitro fertilization (IVF) in mammals: epigenetic and developmental alterations. Scientific and bioethical implications for IVF in humans. Biological Research, 48(1), 68.
  5. [5] van den Belt-Dusebout, A. W., Spaan, M., Lambalk, C. B., Kortman, M., Laven, J. S., van Santbrink, E. J., ... & Land, J. A. (2016). Ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization and long-term risk of breast cancer. Jama, 316(3), 300-312.
  6. [6] Kumar, N., & Singh, A. K. (2015). Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: A review of literature. Journal of human reproductive sciences, 8(4), 191.
  7. [7] Bharadwaj, A. (2016). Conceptions: infertility and procreative technologies in India (Vol. 34). Berghahn Books.
  8. [8] Nagy, Z. P., Varghese, A. C., & Agarwal, A. (Eds.). (2018). In Vitro Fertilization: A Textbook of Current and Emerging Methods and Devices. Springer.
  9. [9] Shah, M. S., Caballes, M., Lathi, R. B., Baker, V. L., Westphal, L. M., & Milki, A. A. (2016). In vitro fertilization outcomes after fresh and frozen blastocyst transfer in South Asian compared with Caucasian women. Fertility and sterility, 105(6), 1484-1487.
  10. [10] Humphries, L. A., Chang, O., Humm, K., Sakkas, D., & Hacker, M. R. (2016). Influence of race and ethnicity on in vitro fertilization outcomes: systematic review. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 214(2), 212-e1.
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