Pune: Maharashtra does not have a single government-run centre offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
In private hospitals, these treatments are expensive and poor couples cannot afford them as they cost over a lakh of rupees to complete just one course of treatment. Studies have shown that infertility is rising among men and women of all economic classes.
To make the IVF accessible for everyone it is essential to start the treatment in government hospitals, said experts. Studies show that 15 out of 100 couples suffer from infertility due to multiple reasons like increased stress, alcoholism, weight gain, late marriage etc.
Doctors said couples who do not conceive a child naturally despite having regular sex without contraceptives for over a year are considered infertile. For those above the age of 35, this period is reduced to around six months. For such couples, IVF is a ray of hope. However, as the cost is in lakhs, couples who are financially weak are unable to explore this option. Gynaecology associations and senior gynaecologists urged the government to start IVF treatment at government hospitals as well.
As of now, even major hospitals in metro cities like Mumbai and Pune do not have a government-run IVF centre. However, work is on at two Mumbai hospitals. Dr Sangeeta Rawat, dean, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, said, “We are building an IVF centre and the civic work is on for the same. It would take about 3-4 months for the centre to start. This would be only an in vitro fertilization centre.”
The facility would also be available at Cama Hospital, Mumbai. Dr Tushar Palawe, gynaecologist, said, “The project is in progress. Hopefully, it should start by July or September.”
Sassoon General Hospital is exploring the possibility of starting an artificial reproduction technique (ART) centre. Dr Sanjaykumar Tambe, head of the gynaecology department, said, “We have proposed an IVF centre in the hospital with the help of a private firm, wherein we will provide them space and they can start attending to patients. However, this is at a nascent stage.”