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One of the most natural things, for every couple, anywhere in the world, is to have a baby and raise a family. Women bear and raise children and keep home. Man provides, puts food on the table, supports and protects the family unit. Modern, progressive thinking has certainly blurred the lines of these traditional, perhaps outdated roles, but nonetheless, the desire to have a family, remains as strong as ever.
Every day thousands of couples find themselves blessed with the gift of new life. Having a baby is an emotionally fulfilling experience creating an unbreakable, loving bond between parents and baby. However, there are many couples that find themselves unable to experience this life enhancing event. Instead, there’s an empty void, a void that fuels yearning, frustration and very often depression.
In 1977 things were about to change, professors, Steptoe and Edwards pioneered a new method of artificial conception. In England on the 25th of July 1978 Louise Brown was born, the world’s first baby born through In-Vitro fertilization (IVF). From that moment on, thousands of couples had a realistic hope of being given the gift of their own baby. Since that first ground breaking birthday, across Europe alone, more than 8 million babies have been born through IVF treatment.
Infertility, a Few Facts
In the UK, 1 in 8 women and 1 in 10 men experience infertility problems, resulting in 9% of couples with problems conceiving a baby. Many then turn to Assisted Reproductive Technology (AVF). The most common AVF treatment is IVF, this aids couples when there are male-factor fertility issues, or when the woman has damaged, or even absent, fallopian tubes.
The biggest problem for couples using IVF is the cost. In America, the average cost of one round of IVF treatment is almost $20,000. Although success rates are good, 23% in the first round of treatment, multiple rounds are the norm and so the cost can soon escalate and become prohibitive. With this in mind, more and more couples look abroad to undertake a course of IVF in more affordable countries, where state of the art treatment is available in modern hospitals and clinics.
Thailand has emerged as a world leader in modern medical practices and treatment, this includes IVF. In Bangkok alone there are 146 private hospitals registered with the Ministry of Public Health’s Medical Registration Division. This number is an indication of the quality, popularity and affordability of treatment in Thailand.
Thailand Offers a Comprehensive IVF Process
Every couple thinking of undertaking IVF treatment should be aware of the process they can, and indeed should, expect. The private hospitals in Thailand are notoriously fastidious in their attention to detail, they don’t cut corners or scrimp on any treatment they offer. IVF tourists can have confidence in the processes and treatment that is offered in Thailand’s private hospitals which are among the best in the world.
Initial impressions are important, and it’s one of the first things that IVF tourists notice with private hospitals in Thailand. The medical professionals realize the benefits to be gained from a client’s relaxed frame of mind. The total ambience of the establishment is considered to be an important and integral part of the treatment process, and thus, hospitals are designed accordingly. Reducing worry and stress is an essential element of IVF treatment, and in Thai hospitals it is taken very seriously.
The private hospitals in Thailand take a very comprehensive approach to the whole IVF process, this starts with an initial assessment and professional consultation. Should it be necessary, a specialist infertility assessment can be undertaken. This comprises of the woman having a fertility blood test, a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG), Transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) and a Pelvic examination. For men the assessment includes a blood test for CBC, hemoglobin typing, Anti-HCV, HBsAg, Anti-HIV, VDRL and a semen analysis.
Following this assessment, the infertility treatment proper can begin. A transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) check will be undertaken to ascertain the woman’s overall reproductive health prior to starting hormonal injections. The number, and dosage level, of these injections would be prescribed by a specialist. Hormonal levels will be monitored via blood tests and vaginal ultrasound checks.
The next stage is the ovum and sperm pick up. Under sedation, egg collection will be performed and the man’s sperm will be collected and held in a carefully controlled, temperature critical environment. Too warm or too cold and the sperm stops swimming, so this should always be done on site. Preimplantation Genetics Screening (PGS) will then take place, this checks for any chromosomal abnormalities.
In the laboratory next-generation sequencing (NGS) will check the DNA for any abnormalities than can be passed from parent to child. This helps in the selection of genetically disease-free embryos. With the eggs and sperm collected and checked, preimplantation genetics diagnosis (PGD) will further ascertain if there are any other genetic defects which can be passed on to baby.
Next, for the woman comes the endometrial receptivity analysis (ERA). This is undertaken to decide if the woman’s endometrium is ready for embryo implantation. This is done to ensure that the woman will be at her most receptive to implantation. This increases the chance of success and lowers the risk of miscarriage. The embryo transfer can then take place, this is short non-invasive procedure and the woman can very quickly go about her daily life as normal. Two weeks following the embryo transfer the woman will be given her pregnancy blood test.
IVF Success and Value in Thailand
IVF Success rates in Thailand are well above the world average, which stands as testament to the quality of the service and the expertise of their professional staff. Although a value cannot be put on the life of a baby, it can be a prohibitive barrier to many childless couples that look for the gift of new life. Thailand has made the dream of a complete family unit possible for thousands of couples that would otherwise have to remain living with a yearning void in their relationship.
For more information about IVF in Thailand, visit IVF at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.