Modern medicine is always on the rise, providing the best technologies to solve many medical issues. ART-Assisted Reproductive Technologies have blessed many couples worldwide with their bundle of joy. With about 10-15% of India’s population being infertile, ARTs are being adopted on a large scale. The adaption of ART is on the rise in cosmopolitan or urban areas and rural backgrounds. There’s more awareness regarding the success and safety of the procedures. Society is also opening up to using ARTs when natural conception has issues.
Major contributors to Infertility are lifestyle choices and clinical factors. But India has a great need for trained embryologists. Embryologists are trained to perform these procedures, empathising with desirous couples’ emotional and physical states.
Who needs Embryologists?
All the ART procedures are done in a laboratory. A good embryologist handles the samples and the equipment with efficiency. Their main knowledge base is:-
- Reproductive Endocrinology
- Molecular biology
- In vitro culture techniques.
- Diagnose fertility problems associated with eggs and sperm, and convey them with compassion
The function of an Embryologist
Embryologists are involved in all the steps of an IVF procedure, which includes retrieval of eggs, sperm preparation, in-vitro fertilisation of gametes (eggs and sperm) to produce embryos, culturing embryos, embryo selection, and embryo transfer. They not only handle gametes and embryos, but embryologists also must maintain IVF lab, ensuring good culture conditions, lab environment, quality control and maintenance of all laboratory instruments.
As there is a shortage of skilled embryologists in India, most clinics rely on traveling embryologists; they visit ART centres in different locations for short periods and perform procedures to help the patients. A full-time embryologist works in one centre and is consistently in touch with the patient and the process.
What are the qualifications required for a career in Embryology?
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) established clear guidelines in 2005. To be a qualified embryologist, a person must have an undergraduate science degree in a relevant field of Biological or Life Sciences and over 5 years of hands-on experience with IVF techniques and equipment can become an embryologist. The government is also proposing a bill known as The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020. If implemented, a post-graduate in the appropriate area of life sciences or medical degree is mandatory for embryologists in all-new ART clinics. Suppose the clinic is already established and is at least a year old. In that case, practicing embryologists can have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, complemented by over 3 years of experience in IVF.
What key qualities are needed for a good career as an Embryologist?
- More than theoretical knowledge, one needs precision to be a successful Embryologist. One must deliver consistently and efficiently. They will acquire these skills through observation, the right training, and practice and hone their skills in advanced ART.
- They must be able to navigate various procedures and decide which is suitable for a particular reason of Infertility.
- Patience is necessary since one must be able to go through multiple sessions with the same couple. They must be able to reinforce and set realistic expectations for the couple.
- They must have impeccable control over hand movements and hand-eye coordination and adhere to protocols.
- One must keep themselves adept with the fast-growing Technological advancements in ART.
- It is a dynamic field, and one must be open to adapting to newer technologies and findings in genetics and reproductive biology in general.
What are the qualifications required for an Embryologist?
To seek a Diploma in Embryology one must be:-
- Should have a valid MBBS, BAMS, BHMS, BUMS, BDS degree
- Masters in life sciences (Msc)
- Is a healthcare professional
What is the demand for Embryologists?
There is a lot of demand for ART in India; India also attracts many foreigners due to its cost-effectiveness and high-quality treatments. But the number of trained embryologists in the country who can aid infertile individuals is still fewer. According to an EY report from 2015, there are an estimated 27.5 million infertile couples in the country. But there is one embryologist for approximately every 34,375 couples. In one year, around 2-2.5 lakh IVF cycles are performed in India. Due to lifestyle and environmental changes leading to Infertility and increasing awareness about fertility treatments, the requirement for embryologists will only go up. More IVF cycles can be performed aptly and fairly when there are more trained embryologists. The burden on existing specialists reduces, hence, improving outcomes.
At ZIEFT – ZIVA Embryology and Fertility Training Center, we provide world-class Embryology training and give many medical professionals a career in Embryology. Visit our website https://zieft.com/ to know more, or contact us at +91 9849728646.
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