Mumbai: There has been a noticeable increase in the number of people seeking medical assistance to conceive, with experts estimating that up to five lakh Indian couples will opt for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the next five years – nearly double the number today.
Between two lakh and 2.5 lakh IVF cycles were performed in India annually in the past couple of years, said Dr Nitiz Murdia, managing director and co-founder of Indira IVF, which has 115 clinics in the country.
Surge in IVF demand
This year there was a surge in demand, with approximately 2.8 lakh IVF cycles being performed, he said.
“This growth signifies a rising acceptance and utilisation of IVF as an effective solution for couples facing difficulties in conceiving naturally. It is projected that the demand for IVF will continue to rise steadily. By FY28, the number of IVF cycles could potentially reach 520,000 cycles per year,” Dr Murdia said.
Another expert said between 10,000 and 15,000 IVF cycles were performed in Mumbai in 2022-23, up from 12,000 in 2019 and 8,000 in 2016. The number is expected to soar 60 to 70% in the city in the next five years, the expert said.
An estimated 33-34 million Indian couples in the reproductive age face lifetime infertility, Dr Murdia said.
“The Total Fertility Rate has been on a steady decline from 3.8 in 1990 to 2.1 in 2019; this is due to factors such as higher prevalence of contraceptive use, lifestyle-related risk factors like high BMI, delayed childbirth, tobacco and alcohol usage, and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections,” he said. “Some of these factors can impair the reproductive system in both males and females, impacting the quality and quantity of sperms and eggs produced, as well as posing challenges during conception.”
IVF facilities at affordable rates at State and civic-run hospitals
State and civic-run hospitals, meanwhile, will soon offer IVF facilities at affordable rates.
On December 17, 2022, the Mumbai City collector granted approval for civil works needed for a 2,000-square-foot IVF centre in Cama Hospital. “In the next three months the clinic will be ready,” said Medical Superintendent Dr Tushar Palve.
“We want to offer the facility to infertile couples who may find it difficult to afford private treatment. The group will comprise doctors from the gynaecology departments of KEM, LTMG (Sion), BYL Nair and Cooper hospitals, besides experts from other facilities,” said Sudhakar Shinde, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Health.
Dr Beena Muktesh, Clinical Director of Fertility & IVF, Motherhood Fertility & IVF Clinic, said the primary cause for people opting for IVF is when the fallopian tubes are severely damaged or absent, or due to other male or female factor infertility.
“Factors like ovulation disorders, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, certain medical conditions, autoimmune disease, genetic disorders and previous tubal sterilisation/removal are the cause for the increase in the demand for IVF procedures. Late marriage and delayed childbearing age is also a reason for couples to go for IVF,” she said.