Everything You Need To Know About Getting IVF In The UAE
All your IVF questions answered by Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav - the doctor who saw through the birth of first IVF baby in the UAE.
25 January 2022
In 1990, the Government of Dubai invited Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav as part of a team to establish U.A.E.’s first ever Fertility Unit in Dubai. Dr. Pankaj was responsible for 3000+ babies at Dubai Gynaecology & Fertility Centre from 1991-2004. And today, 27 years later, Dr. Shrivastav is the Director at Conceive Gynaecology and Fertility Hospital, one of UAE's leading fertility hospitals.
Conceive has been responsible for the birth of over 8000 babies receiving patients from across the globe including USA, UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, Japan, Mayotte, Indonesia, China, New Zealand, Chile, Mauritius, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and countries in the African and European continent.
We caught up with the pioneer doctor to get answers to 6 important IVF questions. Keep scrolling to find out more.
1. In simple terms, what is IVF?
Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav: IVF is what is traditionally called the ‘test-tube’ baby except that a test-tube has never been used to create these babies. It’s always been done in a petri dish. In IVF we facilitate the meeting of the egg and the sperm outside the body so that an embryo is formed. This is then grown for 3-5 days in the laboratory before it is returned back into the woman’s uterus (womb).
2. What is the percentage of patients suffering from fertility problems in the UAE and what is usually the cause of such problems?
Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav: Roughly about 15% percent of couples in the UAE have some issues with their fertility. The problem may be from the wife, from the husband or from both. The commonest causes we that see in the women in the UAE are related to hormonal imbalances, the commonest of which is Polycystic Ovarian Disease.
Amongst men (a cause of fertility becoming more and more prominent) sub-optimal semen quality is the commonest cause. It may be that the man has too few sperms, or that the sperm don’t move (swim) very well, or that they’re abnormally shaped. Sometimes minor problems on both sides can be responsible for the couple’s infertility.
3. Is IVF legal in the UAE? Who regulates it?
Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav: IVF is perfectly legal all over the world. UAE is the only country in the Middle East which has a law governing the performance of IVF. This federal law is based on the Sharia law and thus Muslim couples needn’t have any worry of the legality of the procedure.
4. What is the success rate of IVF?
Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav: The success of IVF depends on the age of the woman and could be as high as 60-65% in a woman aged 25-30 years. But as the woman ages, the quality of the eggs becomes poorer (because of chromosomal abnormalities) and thus the pregnancy rate may be as low as 15-25% between the ages of 40-45.
5. What are the risks/side effects associated with IVF?
Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav: IVF now has become a relatively safe procedure. The stimulation process has been fine tuned so that the risk of a dreaded complication called Ovarian Hyperstimulation has been almost completely mitigated. There is a risk of multiple pregnancies associated with this procedure but most of our patients don’t consider this a risk and actively request for twins.
6. How much will it cost a couple to get IVF in the UAE?
Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav: The cost of IVF in UAE could vary between 15,000 to 35,000 AED depending on the center a couple seeks treatment from.