Parenthood is the most beautiful feeling in the world. But there are times when conceiving a child becomes difficult, infertility being a reason for it.
In India, Infertility gradually has become a looming issue among couples. Nearly 27.5 million couples in India alone suffer from infertility.
To start with, by and large, Infertility can be classified into two types:
a) Primary Infertility: Someone who has not become pregnant after at least one year of unprotected sex.
b) Secondary Infertility: Someone who has become pregnant at least once but never again.
There can be various reasons for infertility, just like any other disease.
In males there could be structural issues or functional issues like
· Varicocele, or the swelling of the veins that drain the testicle.
· Infection: Some infections can interfere with sperm production or sperm health or can cause scarring that blocks the passage of sperm.
· Ejaculation issues: Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out the tip of the penis. Various health conditions can cause retrograde ejaculation, including diabetes, spinal injuries, medications, and surgery of the bladder, prostate or urethra.
· Antibodies that attack sperms, mistakenly identifying sperm as harmful invaders and attempt to eliminate them.
· Tumors: Cancers and non-malignant tumors can affect the male reproductive organs directly, through the glands that release hormones related to reproduction.
· Hormone imbalances, due to disorders of the testicles themselves or an abnormality affecting other hormonal systems including the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands.
· Defects of tubules that transport sperm, due to inadvertent injury from surgery, prior infections, trauma or abnormal development, such as with cystic fibrosis or similar inherited conditions.
· Celiac disease, or a digestive disorder caused by sensitivity to gluten, celiac disease can cause male infertility
· Certain medications: Testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications (chemotherapy), certain antifungal medications, some ulcer drugs and certain other medications can impair sperm production and decrease male fertility.
· Prior surgeries
In females, the reasons or causes could be
- Ovulation disorder, or ovulating infrequently, due to
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS causes a hormone imbalance, which affects ovulation.
- Hypothalamic dysfunction.
- Premature ovarian failure. Also called primary ovarian insufficiency, this disorder is usually caused by an autoimmune response or by premature loss of eggs from your ovary (possibly from genetics or chemotherapy).
- Too much prolactin. The pituitary gland may cause excess production of prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), which reduces estrogen production and may cause infertility.
- Damage to fallopian tubes (tubal infertility), due to
· Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes
· Previous surgery in the abdomen or pelvis
· Pelvic tuberculosis
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally grows in the uterus implants and grows in other locations. This extra tissue growth — and the surgical removal of it — can cause scarring, which may block fallopian tubes and keep an egg and sperm from uniting.
- Uterine or cervical causes
Thankfully, with the advancement of medical sciences there is a cure for Infertility, and people are opting for such treatments across the globe.
However, they do not come cheap.
The average cost of treatment in India for one session of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is approximately Rs. 2,50,000.
There’s absolutely no need to panic. Gone are the days when being infertile was considered a taboo. Today, infertility can be addressed to, just like common flu. And Insurance Companies today have your treatment covered through Infertility Treatment Insurance.
It’s best to consult a doctor and seek his advice as to which treatment would suit you best to conceive.
Here is a brief outline of the popular treatments covered under Infertility Treatment Insurance (Some of which come under add-ons). Rest assured, Insurance Companies will pay the medical expenses if you are hospitalized on the advice of the doctor for Infertility/ Subfertility treatments. The procedures mentioned are for assisted conceptions Once the problem is identified, one can opt for such assisted procedures
1) IUI (Intrauterine Insemination): A treatment in which sperms are inserted directly into your uterus when you ovulate.
2) IVF (In Virto Fertilisation): Eggs are gathered from your ovaries and combined with your spouse's sperm in a laboratory dish. The resulting embryos are transplanted to your uterus.
3) GIFT (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer): Your eggs are removed, mixed together with your spouse's sperm in a dish in a laboratory, then placed into your fallopian tubes.
4) ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection): A single sperm is injected directly into a single egg in the laboratory and the resulting embryo is transplanted into your uterus.
There are certain terms and conditions that you should also be aware of to avail Infertility Treatment Insurance:
1) Eligibility- Depending on your age, medical history and other health complications.
2) Waiting period– The waiting period to avail this policy can range from 2 to 4 years.
3) Validity- This insurance policy can be availed only ‘Once’.
4) Addons- Addons to this policy come at premium.
In a nutshell, here are the answers to the questions you may have before you decide to take Infertility Treatment Insurance:
1) Is it for both males and females?
That would be a big ‘Yes’
2) Can someone who has a kid already avail this insurance for the second child?
Yes again, for both primary and secondary infertility
3) If my partner is infertile but I am insured, is this still valid?
Not really, but if the person is a part of the policy it’s possible. The only downside is a long waiting period!
4) Is there any minimum and maximum age to avail this cover?
No. But usually this insurance is restricted after your 40’s.
5) Is this valid for outside India as well?
No, this policy is valid only in India.
6) When is this cover not valid?
The insured can avail this insurance only once during the policy period, after which it stands void.
7) What part of the treatment is not valid?
All the treatments done during the waiting period are not valid in this policy.
8) What is the cost of this treatment?
The cost can range from 1.5 to 2 Lac Rupees.
9) Do I need to pay any part of it?
The insurer will cover medical bills. However, some health insurers restrict on the total expense whereas others restrict on the pre/post- hospitalization expenses.
10) Once I am pregnant after this treatment, am I valid for maternity cover?
You sure are!
We’ll sign off by saying HAPPY PARENTHOOD TO YOU! :)
Want to read more about health insurance? Read this blog!