Delhi delivers designer babies over 500 every month

Delhi delivers designer babies over 500  every month

When you can't produce a baby, design it. This seems to be the latest mantra of a number of couples in Delhi who are making babies in clinics with the...

When you can't produce a baby, design it. This seems to be the latest mantra of a number of couples in Delhi who are making babies in clinics with the aid of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology. According to an estimate, over 500 children are born in IVF clinics in the Capital every month. Blame it on erratic lifestyle, hectic schedule, performance anxiety or stress taking a toll on fertility, Delhiites are making a beeline for IVF clinics and returning home with designer babies, at times created with chosen sperms. This rush for technology-assisted pregnancy has led to a sudden spurt in the number of IVF clinics across the Capital. Although the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) puts the figure at a meagre 125, based on the applications of clinics received for the National Registry of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), officials believe the number to be anywhere between 250 and 300. "We have identified over 125 clinics in Delhi. However, we believe the number is much more. We are in the process of screening them. Those found satisfactory in terms of expertise, infrastructure and facilities would be given registration by the ICMR, while those which don't qualify for the registration would be asked to shut shop," said Dr RS Sharma, Deputy Director General, Division of Reproductive Health and Nutrition, ICMR. Delhi is only marginally behind Maharashtra in the number of clinics going for ICMR registration. After the Home Ministry made it mandatory for all IVF clinics to be registered with the national registry of ART in 2012, there has been a sudden surge in the applications by clinics specialising in birth of IVF babies. ICMR has received over 1,500 applications so far. In short, there has been a proliferation of IVF clinics in the city. As people turn to IVF, these clinics have excellent business opportunities as well. "The number of IVF clinics is swelling because it is a propagating business. Infertility is increasing in Indian men and women because of stress, late marriage, age factor, etc." "Women are becoming career-oriented, putting family plans on hold. Child bearing capacity decreases with age," said Dr Suneeta Mittal, former head of the department of gynaecology, obstetrics and IVF centre at AIIMS. Dr Mittal is currently the Director of Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon. "Not every infertile couple needs IVF. They can also be treated with medicines and other methods," said Dr Mittal. Health experts associate the spurt in IVF clinics in Delhi with its profit margin. "Gynaecologists nowadays believe that the normal practice is not as lucrative and glamorous as IVF. So, they want to enter the field which yields good money and fame. However, several IVF clinics are befooling innocent patients and running without expert doctors," said Dr Anoop Gupta, medical director, Delhi IVF Research Centre, one of the oldest IVF clinics in the city. "Another reason for mushrooming of IVF centres is the changing trend in society. Many men and women want a child born out of wedlock, which leads them to IVF clinics. We are also getting married fertile couples who want to have a baby through surrogates because they don't want to put their careers on stake. We counsel them to have the baby naturally," said Dr Gupta. Interestingly, IVF is also becoming a treatment for people suffering from psychiatric disorders. "We get a category of patients who suffer from psycho-sexual problems and want to save their marriage with an IVF baby," said Dr Sameer Malhotra, head of Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Hospital. � DailyMail
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