New Delhi: Fertility centers are the last hope for infertile couples desperate to start a family. But they usually end up getting cheated and losing the hard earned money by a section of fraud infertility centers across the country.  Observing the menace of such centers and in a bid to regulate their activities, the Union Health Ministry is going to launch a central database that will put detailed records of such clinics in the country.

In the first stage of the project, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is setting up a National Registry of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Clinics in the country which will provide appropriate assistance to all those who are engaged in taking care of infertility problems in the country.

The ART clinics and hospitals which are engaged in looking after of infertility problems in the country through the practice of any of the 12 techniques will have to register with the ICMR's National Registry of ART Clinics.

These techniques include Artificial Insemination with Husband’s Semen (AIH), Artificial Insemination with Donor Semen (AID), Intra-uterine Insemination using Husband Semen (IUI-H), Intra-uterine Insemination using Donor Semen (IUI-D) and In vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer (IVF).

The list of techniques also include Gamete Intrafallopian Tube Transfer (GIFT), Tubal Embryo Transfer (TET), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA), Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA), Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) and Processing or storage of gametes (sperm and oocyte) and or embryos.

Dr RS Sharma, Deputy Director General of ICMR said, “The idea of registration will mutually benefit both the patients and the fertility centers. ICMR will issue a Unique Registration Number to every registrant. This will have several benefits for the mushrooming fertility clinics.”

He further said that all the information regarding medical expenses, contact details and other related info of the registered ART clinics and hospitals will be furnished on the website of ICMR. This will help the concerned couple to choose the ART clinics as per their comfort and that too at a click of a mouse.

The number of infertility clinics in the country has witnessed a marginal increase over the years. However, the government has no record of exact clinics. The idea of registration, which is first of its kind in the country, will restrict the growth of fake clinics and regulate the activities of other clinics in the country. This will also bring transparency and sense of accountability in the sector.

However, the registration of fertility centers will not alone suffice in solving all the issues of the patients but it is believed that with the set up of ART board at the central and state level under the proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill (ART Bill), the grievances of patients will easily be solved.