An increasing number of career conscious women are freezing their eggs for boosting chances of pregnancy later in life, say IVF experts Dr Nandita Palshetkar and Dr Hrishikesh Pai
They are one of the leading IVF experts in the country. Hailing from Mumbai, Dr Nandita Palshetkar and Dr Hrishikesh Pai were in Chandigarh recently to mark the seventh anniversary of the Fortis Bloom IVF centre which they spearhead. Dr. Palshetkar is credited with the first laser hatched twins in India and has gained recognition as ‘an affordable infertility specialist’. Her contemporary, Dr Pai, has over two decades of experience in the field of IVF and has served as former President, Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction.
As part of the anniversary celebrations, a unique fashion show was held in the presence of the two doctors where parents who have undergone treatment took to the ramp along with their little ones.
The two experts spoke to Life in Chandigarh about their work and the new techniques being used in the field. Both are enthusiastic about the latest technology being used for egg-freezing, emphasising the freedom it gives to women nowadays, who prefer concentrating on their career first.
Quoting Diana Hayden, Indian actor and model, who was once their patient, Dr Palshetkar said, “When she was 34, she went in for the technology to freeze her eggs. She got married at the age of 42. We used the same frozen eggs eight years later, and she delivered her baby Arya.”
Further explaining the process and the new technology of vitrification, she said, “With vitrification, we can freeze eggs, sperms and embryos. They remain in suspended animation but remain alive. Later we take them out and use in the development of the baby by putting it back in the uterus.” With changes in the technologies since this technique first started, the success rate has increased. “Earlier, the success rate was less than 10 percent. Today, after 38 years, the success rate is 15 percent,” she adds.
Dr Palshetkar is of the view that the IVF technique is very well accepted in the country and informs that now men are also coming forward for treatment. “Twenty two years ago when I started, only women used to come. Today, couples come for consulting. Almost 50 percent of infertility is owing to the male factor. That is the change, but people are now accepting it,” she says.
Dr Pai suggests that whatever the status of one’s marriage, they should get their fertility status assessed and preserved. “So, a woman who is 40 years and more has a pregnancy rate of 10 percent while a woman less than 37 years has that of 40 to 50 percent. That’s why one must have a child before the age of 35 -37. And if you don’t want to have a child for whatever reason, then you should preserve your fertility,” explains Dr Pai.
In their centres all over India, where they run over 2,000 cycles, with a 30 percent live birth success rate, they have 300 to 400 child births in a year, with at least one child being born every day. Dr Pai feels it is his obligation to give back to the country, which has given him everything.