Q. How has IVF changed over time?

IVF has evolved from its humble beginnings back in 1978 till today. There has been advancement in terms of drugs, the rational of the usage of these drugs, with the sole aim of improving egg quality. There’s been great advances in terms of laboratory measures, including culture medium, the use of the microscope to inject sperm into the egg, but I feel, a lot of us feel that the success rates of IVF is plateauing and there’s some attempts made now to use what we call vitrification that is rapid freezing of the embryos and implanting the frozen embryos in an artificial cycle subsequently to try to increase the pregnancy rates but right now, there is very little that is being developed that could improve the chances in IVF. I feel that the major problem with failures in IVF is really the age factor because women are deciding to have their children late, to pursue their careers first, before they find a suitable partner and marry and therefore, a pretty late stage of their ovarian life before they try to achieve pregnancy. And the big problem that we are facing today is aged eggs, old eggs with old chromosomes that don’t do well in terms of making pregnancy. But what can you do at this stage, by the time woman reaches that age, it is difficult. But therefore, the thoughts of women having their eggs frozen at a much earlier stage. In fact, I was the first person in medical history to have frozen human egg before and today, there are egg banks around the world where women deposit their eggs when they are much younger and hoping later to use those younger eggs for making pregnancy.

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