Kathmandu, October 29
With an increase in the number of married couples facing infertility problems in the country, many of them are now opting for in vitro fertilisation of late.
According to doctors, sedentary lifestyle, excessive use of alcohol, smoking, late marriage, miscarriages and frequent abortion, lack of nutrition, infection in uterus and misuse of contraceptives are some of the factors responsible for increasing infertility.
Environmental changes, diseases and migration to foreign countries for employment are other major factors for infertility among married couples.
Dr Nutan Sharma, an IVF specialist, shared that women above the age of 35 years mostly prefer IVF service in Nepal.
In vitro fertilisation is an assisted reproductive technology commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilisation by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish.
The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus.
According to Sharma, two to three patients visit Alka Hospital on a daily basis for IVF. In the same way, of the total women taking IVF service in the country, 29 per cent women received the service from Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital alone.
There are seven IVF centres in Kathmandu valley while five centres are out of the valley. Dr Uma Shribastav, an IVF specialist, said that though 15 per cent of married couples were facing infertility in the country, the government had failed to formulate any policy and regulations regarding IVF service in the country.
“Due to lack of government policy related to IVF service in the country, many Nepali citizens are compelled to go to neighbouring country to avail the service,” she said.
Mahendra Shrestha, information officer at the Ministry of Health and Population shared that government was planning to formulate action plan to provide easy access to IVF service. “Earlier, there was no any policy regarding IVF service in Nepal. Along with the formulation of National Health Policy, we are planning to formulate action plan and guidelines for IVF service. The government has no problem if people use IVF service to conceive babies, but we need to stop commercialisation of the service,” he shared.
A version of this article appears in print on October 30, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.