When it comes to In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), couples often have to fight an immense battle – both with the society as well as with themselves. Hoping to give peace of mind to those looking for the joy of parenthood is Prashanth Fertility Research Centre (PFRC), based in Chennai, India. The hospital started 23 years ago and is headed by chairperson Dr. C. Geetha Haripriya, an expert gynecologist and senior fertility consultant. The hospital has, in fact, helped a 62-year-old woman deliver a baby, says Joe, Chief Executive Officer, International HR and Operations, Prashanth Fertility Research Center, Chennai, India.
He tells Daily Dose: “Most hospitals perform IVF with Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). But we use an advanced technology known as the Intra Cytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI), laser-assisted hatching. If we receive a patient who is 40 years old and wants to conceive, we can assist them in the process.”
The success rate of IVF with the ICSI process, globally, is about 35-40%, on average, Joe highlights. But, in the case of IMSI, the success rate goes up to 75-80%. IMSI is a computer-assisted laser- technique and is safe. It zooms 7000x times into the sperm and selects the best from that. “This success rate and the quality of service we provide as well as the knowledge of our doctors have made us the number one facility in Chennai, ranked by the Times of India, for the last 4 consecutive years. We are able to deliver good results; in some months we are able to deliver 100% also!” he shared.
The age group of women that opt for IVF usually starts from the age of 28, says Joe. “However, they may not be a primary IVF patient because they may not have tried or may have gotten married late,” he explains. “There are also some young women who got married at the age of 20 or 21 and are not able to conceive till the age of 27-28, and they could potentially be candidates for IVF. But before that, we advise them to take some medications.” The duration of the process varies from person to person and the centre can complete it in between 28 to 60 days.
The centre offers a complete range of treatments for infertility as well as perform both the sperm and egg donor program. However, surrogacy is not allowed for international patients.
The hospital’s international patient program is reputed, and the institute receives a number of couples travelling from across the globe.
Joe says: “We get a lot of patients from the Middle East and Africa and have received good feedback from them. Our hospitality starts from airport pick-up and everything is taken care of by the guest relations team. Plus, the couples can also make the most of the tourist activities offered in India.” They can also enjoy the medical tourism benefits India has to offer.
When it comes to IVF, Joe explains that the centre works on three different levels. The first is the stress level of the patient, which is caused by society, family or even themselves. The second is the moral and ethical part, which refers to how society supports them.
“As a hospital, we have the moral responsibility to take care of the patient with proper counselling and providing transparency in treatment. Then there is the facility available in the hospital, which includes infrastructure. Some of the issues would be accommodation, language, etc., for that, we have a one-stop-shop with our guest relations team. We don’t usually give couples hospital rooms and want them to stay outside in a fully furnished rental house so that they have a homely feel and try to give them a comfort zone, which is important for IVF. We have translators in any language both on and off-site.,” he emphasizes.
The centre’s basic package costs a nominal US$4,500, which includes registration, scans, follicular studies, hormone injection of single dosage, egg collection, embryo transfer, ICSI and pregnancy test. The add-ons are also available in case patients want laparoscopy, IMSI etc.
“Quality is very important because, at the end of the day, the output is the baby. It is a joy to be in this profession when we see the happiness in the faces of couples who become parents after a long wait of sometimes maybe 20 years. This is indeed a very thrilling, exciting experience,” he concludes.
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