Infertility means the inability to naturally conceive a child and fertility treatment is the medication and procedures undertaken by couples to help them become pregnant. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) refers not only to IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) but also to the various fertility procedures which may be required. These are usually combined with conventional therapies like fertility drugs to increase success rates.
Investing in tests to establish fertility problems and in assisted reproductive technology is a very expensive business, so it is not surprising that couples are seeking fertility treatment abroad. Treatment is much less expensive in India than in the UK and 'reproductive tourism' as it is becoming known, is really growing. Doctors in India more often take a holistic approach to fertility problems, drawing on their knowledge and understanding of traditional Indian medical treatments like Ayurveda or naturopathy when dealing with patients.
Following are some of the options for couples to consider:
Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI)
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Embryo Transfer (ET) or 'test tube baby'
IVF using a donor's eggs
Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Cryo Preservation of Embryos
Semen Bank - hospitals often have their own semen bank with frozen sperm from voluntary donors
When considering fertility treatment in India - as with any treatment abroad - it is vital to get a breakdown of the expenses for the procedures from initial consultation to insemination, and to get this in writing. Also ask what the fees include, and ask about the assistant's fees, the cost of anaesthesia, charges for theatre and hospitalisation and any follow-up visits. It is also vital to check the hospital/clinic/doctor's accreditation, looking for ISO recognition - see our section on how verifying hospitals and doctors.
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