Research offers more hope for childless women

Dr Stephen Junk, embryologist and infertility expert from Australia, says research is being conducted to identify the best embryo based on the protein level, which would ensure success in the first cycle itself.

This would mean reduced number of treatment cycles and thereby the patient's expenses. Dr Junk also cited various research work to look at the gene profile of the embryo, that would show up any genetic abnormalities.

"I believe this test would be available for people in the next five years," he said. In the City for a conference, Dr Junk gave detalis about the latest research and technological advancements in Artificial reproductive technology (ART).

He said that before a woman goes for IVF, her ovaries are  stimulated to generate more eggs. However, the problems with this method are high cost, side effects from the drugs and poor quality of eggs. Hence, he recommended mild ART, where the woman is injected smaller dosage of drugs, which produced few but quality follicles (eggs).

So, where did India stand in IVF treatment? "In India, IVF treatment is quite good. The main reason for this could be that most doctors have trained outside and have brought that information here. Also many units are affiliated to other  countries," he said.

Dr Reeta Biliangady, clinical director, said that at least a third of the infertility problems in women were unexplained.

"We find nearly 30 per cent of the women coming to us having unexplained infertility. And, most of them are from IT sector. The reason could be that we don't have the right diagnostic tools available to detect the problem right now," she said.

However, before the doctors could select the right line of treatment, Dr Biliangady said they usually asked women who were married for three years and having unexplained infertility to undergo Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) blood test. The blood test detects the likelihood of quantity of eggs or ovarian reserve and also helps indicate the time of menopause.

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