Infertility has now become a common issue among men and women. Almost 45% of couples face infertility issues which are not just restricted to women but affect men as well. Research reveals that there is 20-30% hike in the cases of infertility in the last 5 years. Lifestyle changes, stress, anxiety, pollution, obesity, and alterations in the food habits have drastically affected the reproductive health of the couples. Due to the rising cases of infertility, there have been innovations in the field of medicine, especially in the domain of IVF which is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) wherein the sperm & eggs are fertilized outside the womb in the laboratory under controlled conditions. There are various new advancements in the field of IVF such as genetic screening, single embryo transfer, frozen embryo and other medical advancements that have opened new career prospects for those who want to establish their career in the field of IVF.
Various courses for IVF
In the domain of IVF studies, various courses are available. For those who want to pursue a career in IVF, there are basic infertility courses, Infertility observer program, advanced ART course or certificate course in embryology. These courses generally involve- • Endocrinology sciences • Stimulation protocols for IUI • Training on follicular scan, semen processing • Patient counseling • Detailed use of stimulation drugs Various certificate and diploma courses are also available in different colleges that emphasis on all aspects of clinical embryology and assisted reproductive technology. Apart from this, the course also includes- • Hands-on training on semen analysis, semen washing • Concepts and techniques such as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). • Evaluation of infertile female, drug used in ovarian stimulation • Tips & tricks of IVF, IUI etc. These courses are offered by various colleges & institutes across the country and all of them have separate eligibility criteria which should be fulfilled in order to secure a position in the course.
• Experience in transvaginal ultrasound or follicular tracking • A minimum of 3 years of experience in dealing with fertility issues, doctors with specialization in Obstetrics and Gynecology can also apply. • Physicians who are familiar with the procedure of OI (Ovulation Induction) & IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) are also a right candidate. The observer programmes and ART courses have different course curriculum that goes in depth on the subject. A perfect mix of hands-on-training and theoretical knowledge on the subject matter is offered in the courses.
Apart from acquiring the role of embryologist and fertility expert, there are ample fields that open up after the study of IVF. All the reputed & well-known fertility hospitals & clinics are looking out for qualified professionals and offer great packages. Embryologists can pursue a career as fertility researchers, professors, senior andrologists etc. at various universities and organizations. The person can also work as an animal embryologist in the research labs, a clinical embryologist in the fertility centres, or work as a professor or a researcher, conduct embryonic studies. Healthcare Scientist is another domain in the IVF sector. Also known as clinical scientists, their job profile includes performing diagnostic services, therapeutical embryological procedures, and collection, storage, and fertilization of eggs. Apart from all this, the healthcare scientists communicate with the patients and counsel them.
The candidate should be able to write white papers, conduct academic research and understand the new advancements in the medical field. The ability to counsel & understand the couple’s apprehensions and guide them in the same process is a plus point. If we have to list the skills required by a professional in the field of IVF, it will include- • Ability to organize and research • Laboratory skills and analytical skills • Strong interpersonal communication skills • Keen eye on detailing • Impeccable documentation & record keeping skills • Ability to manage various projects at the same time.
New Advancements in IVF
The science in the reproductive technology is evolving with each passing day. Genetic screening, single embryo transfer, frozen embryos, and new medications are making it possible for the couples to rely on these methods to conceive a baby. These advancements have also given ample opportunities to childless couples who have lost hope and are willing to experiment with new ideas to achieve parenthood. Since the field is evolving, there is a great scope to make a successful career in IVF technologies. Seek the help of an academic counselor or interact with fertility experts who will guide you through the positive aspects and challenges in this booming sector.