In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a tech based treatment for infertility, it is a complex and expensive procedure through which couples have babies. IVF was first introduced by 1978 when a baby boy was born outside his mother’s womb. In this process, the would be mother is asked to take medicines that stimulates the fertilization of eggs and makes them mature in her body (ovulation induction) . After that the doctor takes out those eggs (egg retrieval), mixes them with the sperm cells in a laboratory (insemination) and stores it in a special container. Subsequently fertilization takes place and the cells are divided into embryos which are then put back into the mother’s uterus.
IVF is the most common treatment for infertility. This technique causes several hormonal and physical changes in a woman’s body. The chances of IVF being unsuccessful increases as the woman gets older since their body cannot handle these transitions, moreover raising the child in old age turns burdensome.Various countries such as the US ,UK and Australia have an age limit for women opting to IVF, however, India has no such restrictions. During the last three months two septuagenarian women from Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu undertook the IVF treatment. This report was met with mixed responses as people were shocked by the idea of a 70 year old woman taking up the responsibility of a child .Plus bearing the financial risks right from the IVF treatment to providing the children with education and all the necessities.
That was one side of the coin, the other side focuses upon the rights of an individual wherein a woman is allowed to choose for herself. Establishing an age limit on the women for IVF would hinder their reproductive rights. Here, the government’s approach towards this issue plays an important role. Informing the couples about the health risks, complications, decreasing the barriers of obtaining a child through other ways and offering them right counselling could help in making right decisions. Childbirth in most places is considered as an essential role in life and a yardstick by which a woman’s worth is measured, so infertility invites social stigma. Resulting in this, many septuagenarians confessed to have chosen IVF due to this social stigma of not having their own biological child.
Making up one’s mind for IVF is a personal decision , but choosing it should be done after considering all the other options and the risks involved. Government and media can guide the women and the health organisations can assist them for safe IVF.