As you know that Namita Thapar is one of the sharks in Shark Tank India. Recently in one of the episodes she revealed about her failed IVF treatment and trauma she had undergone during the procedure. This happened when she tried for her second baby.
In the Shark Tank India episode on 3rd March 2023, businesswoman and the Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Namita Thapar, spoke about her struggles while conceiving her second child through in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Ms Thapar shared her story during a pitch which focused on the issue of infertility that women face, with the contestants revealing the development of an IUI home kit. Their product is designed for infertile couples to use at home rather than in a hospital.
Ms Thapar became a mother by naturally conceiving at the age of 28. The businesswoman, however, faced fertility problems, after three to four years when she wished for a second kid. She chose to undergo the IVF way twice, enduring 25 injections that caused her excruciating physical and mental suffering.
She said, “In my case when I was 28 years old, I wanted to get pregnant and in 2 months I conceived and had a normal pregnancy after that, for 3 to 4 years I tried, and I couldn’t conceive. I have gone through 2 infertility treatments and those 25 injections and the emotional and physical pain that I went through.”
Ms Thapar admitted that she. She was able to conceive naturally after a few months, but it took her a while to recover from the trauma.
“I already have kids but imagine the parents who don’t have kids. After two attempts I gave up and said that I am happy with one child. But then a miracle happened, and I conceived naturally but the memory stayed with me, and for 10 years I couldn’t talk about it publicly. It was very tough for me to share it with anyone,” she continued.
She believed that the subject was a “taboo”. Ms Thapar added, “Just six months ago, I had to discuss the topic of infertility on my YouTube channel, and I couldn’t sleep the entire night as to whether I would be able to share my personal experience or not. Many of my well-wishers told me, it’s my personal life, why should I discuss it? However, I decided to share what I have gone through with others. In fact, I wrote about it in my book as well.”
Some of you may not be knowing what is IVF? So, lets learn about it.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the joining of female gamete and male gamete in a laboratory dish. In vitro means outside the body. Fertilization means fusion of male sperm and female egg to form zygote.
Normally, an egg and sperm are fertilized inside a female’s body. After that fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the womb and continues to grow and develop into a baby in about 9 months. This process is called natural conception.
In IVF special medical techniques are used to help a woman become pregnant.
There are five basic steps to IVF:
Step 1: Stimulation or super ovulation
- Medicines, called fertility drugs, are given to the woman to boost egg production.
- Normally, a woman produces one egg per month. Fertility drugs tell the ovaries to produce several eggs.
- During this process, the female will have regular checkup to examine the ovaries and blood tests to check hormone levels.
Step 2: Egg retrieval
- A minor surgery, called follicular aspiration, is done to remove the eggs from the woman’s body.
- The surgery is done in the doctor’s clinic. The female will be given medicines, so she does not feel pain during the procedure. Using ultrasound images as a guide, the health care provider inserts a thin needle through the vagina into the ovary. The needle is connected to a suction device, which pulls the eggs and fluid out of each follicle, one at a time.
- The procedure is repeated for the other ovary. There may be some cramping after the procedure, but it will go away within a day.
Step 3: Insemination and fertilization
- The man’s sperm is placed together with the best quality eggs. The fusion of the sperm and egg is called insemination.
- Eggs and sperm are then stored in chamber. The sperm most often enters (fertilizes) an egg a few hours after insemination.
- If the doctor thinks the chance of fertilization is low, the sperm may be directly injected into the egg. This is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Step 4: Embryo culture
- When the fertilized egg divides, it becomes an embryo. Laboratory staff will regularly check the embryo to make sure it is growing properly. Within about 5 days, a normal embryo has several cells that are actively dividing.
- Couples who have a high risk of passing a genetic (hereditary) disorder to a child may undergo pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). The procedure is mostly done 3 to 5 days after fertilization. Laboratory scientists remove a single cell or cells from each embryo and screen the material for specific genetic disorders.
- According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, PGD can help parents to decide which embryos to implant. This decreases the chance of passing a disorder onto a child.
Step 5: Embryo transfer
- Embryos are implanted into the female’s womb 3 to 5 days after fertilization.
- The procedure is done in the doctor’s clinic and the female has to stay awake. The doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) containing the embryos into the female’s vagina, through the cervix and into the womb of the female. If an embryo sticks to the lining of the womb and starts growing, then pregnancy will happen.
- If more than one embryo is placed into the womb at the same time, then it may result twins, triplets, or even more.