KUWAIT: The Health Ministry is mulling the implementation of gender selection of in vitro fertilization (IVF) babies based on medical bases, and not for social reasons, a Health Ministry official said yesterday. Speaking on the occasion of a visit by infertility specialists from Britain and Belgium, Head of the IVF Babies’ Department at the Maternity Hospital Dr Hazem Al-Rumeih affirmed that Kuwait will promote medical services provided for infertility cases in the country, which will reduce the number of
cases treated abroad.
The visiting experts are to supervise and assess the quality of the IVF operations conducted at the Maternity Hospital, Al-Rumeih said. They will be examining and providing medical advice regarding critical cases being treated at the hospital. They will also be making field trips to the new IVF unit to be established at Jahra Hospital, Al-Rumeih added. He said Kuwait has many elite IVF and infertility doctors and technicians who are well experienced, and they could greatly benefit from medical conferences
in which international advisors and specialists participate and exchange expertise to develop health services in Kuwait.
Medical Director at Bourn Hall Clinic, Consultant Dr Peter Brinsden of Cambridge, UK, affirmed the importance of having a well-experienced and updated medical team of doctors and technicians. Brinsden affirmed that his team is tirelessly working to give the chance to couples to have an IVF baby, noting the couples should both be treated at the same time, since the possibility of infertility is estimated at 50 percent in each. A consultant from Canada Dr Mortimer praised the Health Ministry’s plans and its
vast concern of the wellbeing of citizens by having IVF units established in the state’s various hospitals.
The common cause leading to infertility in the Middle East is polycystic ovarian syndrome, Brinsden explained. A great number of women in the Middle East are overweight, which is considered an infertility factor, he said, adding that contagious diseases in the pelvic area are far less in the Middle East than in Europe.
The IVF unit in Kuwait will examine the embryos before transferring and inseminating them based on medical reasons and not social before the end of 2009, thus reducing the dispatch of IFV cases abroad by 5-10 percent. The cost of medically treating an IVF case abroad is around KD 10,000-20,000.
The total cases that were treated at the IVF unit at the Maternity Hospital in 2008 reached 800, and intrauterine insemination was performed in 380 cases and pregnancy occurred in 8-16 percent of the cases. A total of 420 IVF operations were conducted and the pregnancy rates stood at 20-30 percent. – KUNA