A report says that more than three million babies across the world have been born through Invitro Fertilisation (IVF). The number of twins being born in our own country is also growing. I can vouch for this based on the number of twins born in my immediate circle of friends and relatives in the recent past. On closer examination I find that this phenomenon is happening because of the growing number of couples, who are unable to get children through the natural process, opting for Test Tube babies better known as ` In Vitro Fertilisation `. IVF is the most popular form of artificial insemination under which more than one fertilized egg is placed in the women`s uterus through the cervix; very often resulting in the birth of twins.
Many of the newly married couples do not want any kids for the first two or three years. Not only do they want to spend time understanding each other but also want to enjoy life without the restrictions imposed by kids. They call it `planning` their family. In fact, some of them even go for abortion if the girl conceives by accident. Unfortunately by the time they are ready to have a baby, it refuses to come. Besides, the stress and strain of corporate life- where both husband and wife are working with irregular timings- lead to many physiological problems. The fact is that they don`t even spend enough quality time with each other.
Then the circus starts. While the elders in the family are busy offering prayers at every temple in the country where the presiding deities are supposed to guarantee a child, they also seek the advice of astrologers on whose advice they perform various rituals at home and in temples. The couples in the meanwhile are busy visiting specialists finally landing at the doors of the Fertility Clinics. You can see one such clinic in every locality in Chennai. More and more Gynecologists are opting to specialize in Test Tube babies.
After the successful process in the fertility Clinic many of the couples are blessed with twins. If they happen to be a boy and a girl every one is doubly happy. Because in one go the couple has achieved the ideal family norm of having a boy & a girl. All is well that ends well, though the challenge of bringing up twins is a story by itself.
I remember meeting an old friend some time ago, whose wife was a very well known gynecologist who had a roaring practice until the nineties. Her reception area would be always crowded with scores of expectant mothers. At the height of her practice she used to help deliver about 8 to 10 babies a day.
But today her reception area is bare. There are only a couple of prospective mothers waiting to see her. Whereas the Fertility clinic started by her daughter-in-law next door is teeming with anxious couples. Even to get an appointment with her daughter-in-law, the patients have to wait for a couple of weeks.
Times are indeed changing!
This article appeared in the Adyar Times issue dt. March 13-19, 2016 under my fortnightly column `Rajan`s Random Reflections`
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