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Fertility Tourism and IVF treatment in India

Updated on July 28, 2016

Do You Know?

  • One out of six couples in the world is said to suffer from some form of infertility.
  • About 10% of women age group ranging from 20 years to 44 years suffer from infertility.
  • National Health Service (NHS) figures from the UK show that one in six couples is classified as infertile, which is the same in the US.
  • In India, infertility accounts for 10 percent of the population.
  • According to National Women’s Health Resource Centre, a couple with age range 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month.
  • About 10-15 % of couples who want to start a family face problems with their fertility.
  • As per National Survey of Family Growth (2006-2010), CDC, 1 in 8 couples or 12% of married women has trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.

Fertility and infertility

Infertility is one of the major concerns in the world. It is not life threatening; but it causes intense mental agony and trauma that can be correctly described and fully understood only by infertile couples.

One out of six couples in the world is said to suffer from some form of infertility.

About 10% of women age group ranging from 20 years to 44 years suffer from infertility.

National Health Service (NHS) figures from the UK show that one in six couples is classified as infertile, which is the same in the US. In India, infertility accounts for 10 percent of the population.

Fertility is the natural capability to produce offspring / kid. This fertility differs from fecundity, which is the potential for reproduction. Men who are fertile are able to father children and fertile women are able to get pregnant and carry their baby to full term with a live birth after nine months from conception. This conception happens naturally as a result of sexual intercourse.

According to National Women’s Health Resource Center, a couple with age range 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month.

About 10-15 % of couples who want to start a family face problems with their fertility.

This may be attributed with a problem arising from either of the partner, or a combination of both. According to American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), about one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, another one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained.

Infertility implies the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (six months if the woman is over 35 years of age) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth. For a woman, according to WHO, infertility (or a state of sub-fertility) can manifest itself as either:

  • the inability to become pregnant

  • an inability to maintain a pregnancy

  • an inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth.

As per National Survey of Family Growth (2006-2010), CDC, 1 in 8 couples or 12% of married women has trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.

Infertility: a disease or a disability, a curse or a blessing?

Infertility is neither a blessing nor a curse. It is a public health issue of the present day society across the globe. Infertility is a disease that results in the abnormal functioning of the male or female reproductive system.

Infertility is recognised as a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Roughly 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance. Of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% give birth.

Prevention and appropriate treatment of infertility is imperative and should be an integral component of primary health care system. Infertility awareness and its management is low among the public. This may be due to the fact that the need for infertility diagnosis is felt only after marriage and failure to conceive naturally.

Most types of infertility causes such as reproductive tract infections (RTI) and genital tuberculosis are preventable and amenable to treatment. However, infertile couples having infertility in men or infertility in women such as defective uterus or blocked fallopian tubes, ovulation disorder and unexplained infertility, severe endometriosis, defect in sperm count and quality etc. need serious medical intervention involving the use of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) procedures such as IVF.


IVF and fertility tourism

IVF full form is "In vitro fertilisation". The term “in vitro” means "in glass". IVF is a process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body. During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from one’s ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs are implanted in the uterus. One cycle of IVF procedure takes about two weeks.

  • IVF treatment is NOT the first step in the treatment of infertility. It is used when other methods such as fertility drugs, surgery and intra uterine insemination (IUI) etc. have failed.
  • IVF is the most effective and common form of assisted reproductive technology (ART).
  • IVF is the therapeutic option of reproductive medicine with the highest yield per attempt, coming close on many occasions to that achieved by fertile couples conceiving naturally.
  • However, IVF treatment can be time-consuming, expensive and invasive.
  • According to ARSM, approximately 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures.
  • Fewer than 3% need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Fertility tourism or reproductive tourism is the practice of travelling to another country for fertility treatments. It may be regarded as a form of medical tourism (Medical tourism is a term used to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders to seek healthcare services).

Infertile women and infertile men who cross national and international borders in pursuit of conception through IVF are often called reproductive tourists or fertility tourists.

Infertility is a dire burden that comes with intense social stigma and community ostracism. It has manifold implications like marital duress, divorce and abandonment. Hence, many infertile couples are willing to undertake extensive reproductive travel to have kids.

The main reasons for fertility tourism are:

  • legal prohibitions or regulation of the sought procedure in the home country,
  • the non-availability of a procedure or inaccessibility of a technique because of patient characteristics (such as age, sexual orientation or marital status) in the home country
  • lower costs in the destination country

History of IVF and emergence of India as global fertility tourist hub

India’s first scientifically documented IVF baby, Harsha, was born on August 6, 1986, in Mumbai, through the collaborative efforts of the ICMR’s Institute for Research in Reproduction and the King Edward’s Memorial Hospital (KEM).

This initiative of Government of India was soon taken over by the booming private sector in health, especially the corporate sector. With the globalisation of trade in services and the rise in medical tourism, India has emerged as an attractive destination for medical services, and more recently, reproductive services. As corporatized health care pushes medical tourism, the Indian state is also extending its support to this burgeoning sector. For the last few years, India’s ‘fertility industry’ has experienced rapid expansion with the country emerging as one of the leading global destinations for ‘fertility tourism’ or ‘reproductive tourism’. Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in India have achieved the proportions of an industry.

The niche marketing of fertility tourism gaining footing particularly in India is due to a combination of several factors:

  • Substantially lower costs
  • Advanced privatized tertiary healthcare,
  • World-famous tourist destinations,
  • Possibility of closely monitoring procedures at IVF centres from nearby reasonably low costs five star hotels
  • Most of the doctors and surgeons at IVF clinics are trained or have worked at some of the prestigious medical institutions in the US, Europe, or other developed nations
  • Most doctors and nurses are fluent in English
  • Top -of-the-line medical and diagnostic equipments from global international conglomerates is available at many Indian hospitals associated with IVF centres.

Fertility tourism in India has two aspects—domestic as well as international. There is increasing number of infertility cases in the country and many couples from rural or semi-urban areas come to the metros to seek IVF treatment which is simply not available in their locality.

The other aspect is of international medical tourism. There is growing number of people coming from abroad, who flock India seeking high-end IVF treatments that come at a fraction of the price that they have to pay in their home countries. The combination of the low cost of infertility treatment in India - nearly one-quarter of the cost in developed nations - and the modern ART available here make India a top choice for infertility treatments.

India, being at the forefront of reproductive medicine, has become a Mecca for all the IVF treatments available around the world.

The Indian has more than 500 registered IVF clinics across the country. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India had an estimated 250 IVF clinics by 2005. The Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction now has a membership of more than 600. IVF clinics are now moving in to smaller cities and towns to create and exploit the market in these areas.

The world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born on July 25, 1978 in UK.

The world’s second and India’s first IVF baby, Kanupriya (alias Durga) was born 67 days later on October 3, 1978, through the efforts of Dr. Subhas Mukherjee and his two colleagues in Kolkata.

Within four years of the birth of the world’s first test tube baby in 1978, the Government of India sponsored work on IVF at the Institute for Research in Reproduction in Mumbai in 1982.


IVF success rate in India

The chances of having a healthy IVF baby depend on many factors, such as age of the woman and the cause of infertility. A woman’s ability to conceive a child reduces with age. If you are using your own eggs, on average, the younger you are the higher your chances of success.

According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA),UK women having in vitro fertilisation (IVF) using fresh embryos created with their own fresh eggs, the percentage of cycles started that resulted in a live birth (India national averages in 2010, the year for which the most recent data is available) was:

  • 32.2% for women aged under 35

  • 27.7% for women aged between 35–37

  • 20.8% for women aged between 38–39

  • 13.6% for women aged between 40–42

  • 5.0% for women aged between 43–44

  • 1.9% for women aged 45 and over

    (IVF success rate in India based on age)

Note: IVF and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) success are very similar and as such are no longer presented seperately. The above results of success rate in India are for both IVF and ICSI together.

The IVF success rate is approximately one in every 4-5 women. The success rate of any ART procedure is about 30% under the best of circumstances.

IVF cost in India

The cost of fertility treatment / IVF cost vary vastly from country to country leading to a rise in reproductive tourism.

India is one of the most affordable destinations for IVF treatments. The country offers modern fertility techniques and procedures at reasonable cost through 500 plus fertility clinics many of whom are manned by IVF doctors with 20- 30 years of experience.

Although there are wide variations, the IVF cost in Delhi is about INR 1,50,000.00 to INR 2,00,000.00 ( approximately US$ 2500- US$ 3000 )for each IVF cycle.

However, the total ivf cost in Delhi could range from $4000 to $5000 (USD) or 2.5 lacs to 3.5 lacs if you are coming from outside India. ( Please contact IVF Clinic for rate before coming to India)

Top Fertility Specialists in Delhi

Dr. Kaberi Banerjee

Dr. Kaberi Banerjee is a seasoned Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. She is one of the most experienced and best fertility specialists. Dr. Kaberi is rated as one of the best IVF doctors in Delhi and a leading fertility doctor in India.

She has done over 3000 IVF cycles. She specializes in IVF, ICSI, egg donation and surrogacy.

Dr. Banerjee feels very strongly for patients suffering from infertility and has made a conscious decision to make her contribution by establishing her own IVF centre at Delhi.

She presently works as a clinical director of Advanced Fertility & Gynaecology Centre, Ring Road Lajpat Nagar , New Delhi. She is also a visiting Consultant at Max Panchsheel Park, New Delhi.

She is organizing chairperson of CUPART (Current Practices and Recent Advances in ART). This is an International organization to facilitate right treatment and research in fertility & IVF. CUPART was founded in 2011 by Dr. Kaberi Banerjee.

Academic Qualification & Experience



  • MRCOG (London, UK)

  • Commonwealth Fellow in Reproductive Medicine and IVF (London, UK)

  • After the completion of her degree, Dr. Kaberi was associated with AIIMS for years as Senior Resident and Research Associate

  • Spent a year at Guys Hospital, London, as a Clinical Fellow

Clinic Address

Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre, 2/6, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar IV, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110024

By Telephone Appointment: +(91)-9871250235, 11-41037591

Facebook: Kaberi Banerjee

Dr. Richa Katiyar

Dr. Richa Katiya is one of the best fertility doctors in India. She finished her MD at AIIMS, Delhi and specialized in ART (IVF, ICSI, IUI, Laparoscopy) from Germany's Kiel School.

She believes in giving close attention to all her patients. Dr. Richa gives personal attention to each and every patient. It is amazing that she knows all of her patient by their names.

Dr. Richa, as fertility specialist, knows that infertility is a very emotionally draining experience. She understands the emotional dilemmas of the patients and takes out the time to explain what treatment is required and why, the definite advantages of one treatment over the other, the need for the various investigations, and answers all questions of the patients painstakingly.

Dr. Richa has set up her own clinic at her home in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. She is associated with Flight Lt. Rajan Dhall, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj (Tuesday and Thursday 1-3 pm) and SCI Hospital, A-1, Kailash Colony, New Delhi.

Professional Qualifications

1. MBBS - S.N. Medical College, Agra (1994)

2. MD - All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi (2001)

3. Fellowship in Assisted Reproductive Technology (IVF)- Kiel School of Gynaecological Endoscopy and Reproductive Medicine, University Hospitals, Schleswig Holstein, Campus Kiel, Germany (2006)

4. Diploma in Ultrasonography (certified by FOGSI) 2004

Home Clinic Address

Sector D, Pocket 2/ 2482, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110070

Phone: 91-9810812189 (Monday to Saturday, by prior appointment)

Facebook: Richa Katiyar

Other Top Fertility Doctors in Delhi

Other notable fertility specialist / IVF doctors in Delhi include:

  • Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj from NURTURE Clinic, Delhi
  • Dr. Aanchal Agarwal from B.L. Kapoor Memoriable Hospital, Delhi
  • Dr. Manika Khanna from Gaudium IVF Centre, Delhi
  • Dr. Sonia Malik ,Southend Fertility & IVF

India is one of the leading fertility tourism destinations in the world. It is one of the most established and popular destinations for fertility treatment worldwide. Clinics throughout India are well established and have high standards. India provides affordable quality infertility treatments with all advanced reproductive technologies. Hence, India in general and New Delhi in particular may be considered as of the best places to combine pleasure and business.

Do you think IVF is the best solution for infertility?

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