Dr. Sonia Malik
Infertility is childlessness can be seen as a social stigma, especially for women and stigma is a sign of social unacceptability. Childless people are seen as a burden on the society and the economic stability of a community. Parents, in-laws and siblings may become disappointed due to the stoppage in the continuity of the family. Many times the woman is blamed and the man may divorce his wife. He may also take a second wife if their community permits polygamy.
Rate of infertility: Almost 15% of couples in the reproductive age-group are affected by infertility, globally. Studies have shown that about 10 % of women in reproductive age group suffer from infertility. Subfertility is becoming more widespread the world over. Especially the ageing populations in urban settings are getting affected. These are such communities where women are having their first-borns when they are older.
How does it work? In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a procedure where a sperm fertilizes an egg in a petri dish outside a woman’s body and incubated in surroundings favorable for reproduction. Healthy embryos are then placed inside the woman’s uterus where, God-willing, she will conceive.
Many viable embryos are created by fertilizing a great number of eggs simultaneously. The healthiest are implanted. The remaining embryos are abandoned or contributed to research, or stored indefinitely for future use or offered to other couples. Many couples undergoing IVF desire to have a twin pregnancy to complete their family instantly.
Why IVF? The chief argument in favor of IVF is the potential of giving a chance to infertile couples to have children of their own. IVF has another prominent scientific advantage. When in vitro fertilization is done, early development of embryo helps scientists learn more about how to prevent some birth defects.
How does it benefit couples? IVF can have tremendous impact on women; it is a very demanding process – physically and psychologically. Her relationship with her partner and the outlook about her in the society are affected a lot. Emotions are involved and expectations are high. Besides, the woman is exhausted and disheartened when the whole process ends. The IVF-experience of women can affect her life in a very mixed way. They will tend to adopt a healthier lifestyle and get closer to their partner.
About Dr. Sonia Malik: Dr Sonia Malik is a pioneer in fertility treatments in North India, who began her work at Holy Angels Hospital, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi from 2001.