What's New :
5th January 2024 (8 Topics)

Health Ministry seeks data on single women taking the Assisted Reproductive Technology route

Context

The Ministry had also sought category-wise figures on couples and single women who opted for surrogacy successfully following the implementation of the Surrogacy Act, 2021.

Enhancing Transparency and Inclusivity in India's Fertility Sector

I.   Ministry's Data Collection Initiative

  • The Union Health Ministry in India has taken a significant step towards assessing the effectiveness of recent reproductive healthcare legislation.
  • Specifically, the Ministry has sought comprehensive data from all States and Union Territories on the utilization of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) following the implementation of the Surrogacy Act, 2021.

II.  Focus on Single and Unmarried Women

  • In a noteworthy move, the Ministry has extended its inquiry to include a breakdown of successful ART cases among single women (divorcees/widows) and unmarried women.
  • This inclusive approach has been welcomed by fertility experts, as it sheds light on a previously underrepresented segment of the population seeking fertility treatments.

III. The Role of the National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board

  • Established under the ART Act, the National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board play a pivotal role in regulating ART clinics and technology banks.
  • The Board aims to prevent misuse, ensuring the safe and ethical practice of ART services.
  • The Ministry has further reinforced the regulatory framework by notifying the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulations) Amendment Rules, 2023.

IV. Addressing Concerns in the Fertility Sector

  • While ART serves as a crucial treatment for infertility and preventing congenital abnormalities, concerns have arisen regarding parameters limiting the number of available donors.
  • The fertility sector in India, mirroring global trends, faces challenges such as declining fertility rates and the rising costs associated with ART cycles.

V.  Future Trends: Inclusion of Single Women

  • Fertility experts anticipate a growing trend in the inclusion of single women in ART procedures.
  • While currently in a nascent stage, inquiries from single women about procedures like egg freezing are expected to rise in the coming years.
  • The Ministry's proactive approach in categorizing and analyzing successful ART cases among single and unmarried women reflects a positive and welcome trend in the evolving landscape of reproductive healthcare in India.

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