Reminiscing growth of fertility segment with India’s first IVF child, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi : Healthcare has come a long way from what it was 40 years ago with more precision, assistance, success rates and improved patient care being delivered with the help of technology. One of the very few breakthroughs in the fertility segment was the successful utilisation of the in-vitro fertilisation technique to deliver a healthy baby which seemed impossible back in the day. A living example of how taking risks can sometimes lead to beautiful outcomes is Kanupriya Agarwal, also known as Durga who was the first baby born via IVF in India. Sharing her journey Agarwal joined the fireside chat session on ‘Breaking the Stereotype around IVF’ hosted during the ETHealthworld Fertility Conclave, powered by Bharat Serums and Vaccines Ltd.

Agarwal shared how the technology revolving around IVF was very new, with no information being readily available on the internet. She further highlighted that no information about the risks involved or why the procedure shouldn’t be done empowered her parents to take the risk and give a chance to the new technology.

Noting that it was faith that kept her parents going, Agarwal said, “They knew the risks, the doctor was very open in telling my parents maybe nothing will happen, maybe a child happens who is deformed in any way, we don’t know, I have never done this before. They knew that they could either get a deformed baby mentally or physically or no baby or a baby that faced issues later. But they were so keen to have a child and had faith.”

She highlighted that being a part of an experiment could have had major implications if there would have been any psychological, social or economical burden on the family, annotating that social support becomes especially important at this stage in the life of parents. She further noted that it is essential to remember the scientist who developed the technology, experimented with it and stayed in the country to take research in the IVF segment to the next level while celebrating the success of the procedure and technology today.

Speaking on how technology has improved the reproductive life of couples, Agarwal added, “In the last 40 years, not just IVF but technology in medicine has grown by leaps and bounds. The fact that there are so many children born out of IVF just points to the fact that it is a socio-cultural need that both men and women have. It’s now a choice that a woman doesn’t have to worry about her age cycle, it has opened many doors, social boundaries that women had earlier and not just childlessness, but the timing of children and others.”

“Because physiologically there is a problem either with you or your partner for not having a child, it doesn’t mean that psychologically or socially you are not adept,” concluded Agarwal during the fireside chat, stating that having a child or not having one should be a choice and shouldn’t be a factor that the couple is judged upon.