Kasturba Hospital, Manipal: Innovations in IVF Care

Kasturba Hospital
Kasturba Hospital | Manipal

In the world of assisted reproductive technologies, where hope meets science, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, emerges as an institution of excellence in the landscape of IVF and fertility care. As we navigate the complex world of reproductive medicine, this trusted institution stands tall, offering a unique blend of expertise, compassion, and groundbreaking advancements. Boasting 2032 beds, it stands as one of India’s largest private healthcare facilities, dedicated to delivering quality tertiary care to a diverse patient base, both national and international.

At the core of this healthcare establishment lies the Department of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery (MARC), a division within Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. It is led by the distinguished Professor and Head, Dr. Pratap Kumar, an expert in the field. Supporting the department are other esteemed faculty members, including Professor Dr. Prashanth K Adiga, Associate Professor Dr. Anjali Suneel Mundkur, and Associate Professor Dr. Vidyashree G Poojari.

Dr. Pratap, a recipient of the prestigious ‘Young Scientist Award’ from the Asia Oceania federation of obstetrics and gynecology, holds dual roles as the Head of the Department of Reproductive Medicine & Surgery and also as a Clinician. His exemplary leadership and contributions to reproductive medicine underscore the hospital’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and care.

The Department of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, is not just a healthcare unit; it’s a hub of research and educational activities, shaping the future of reproductive medicine in India.

As we embark on a journey to discover the most trusted IVF centers, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, unfolds its narrative — a tale of hope, expertise, and a pivotal role in defining the landscape of IVF care in India.

Commitment to Excellence in Healthcare

Established in 1961, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, is not just a healthcare center; it’s an apex teaching hospital linked to the esteemed Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.

In pursuit of its mission, Kasturba Hospital passionately dedicates itself to becoming the foremost and all-encompassing healthcare institution.

As outlined in its visionary statement, Kasturba Hospital aspires to attain global leadership in human development, attaining excellence not only in healthcare but also in education.

At the core of Kasturba Hospital’s operations are a set of deeply ingrained values that guide its actions and decisions:

  • Integrity: Upholding the highest standards of honesty and ethics in all endeavors.
  • Transparency: Ensuring openness and clarity in communication and operations.
  • Quality: Striving for excellence and continuous improvement in healthcare delivery.
  • Teamwork: Embracing collaborative efforts to enhance patient care and overall efficiency.
  • Execution with Passion: Approaching tasks with dedication and enthusiasm to achieve optimal results.
  • Humane Touch: Infusing compassion into healthcare practices, recognizing the human element in every interaction.

These values serve as the foundation upon which Kasturba Hospital builds its reputation and fulfills its commitment to providing exceptional healthcare services.

Making a MARC in IVF Care

Formerly known as MARC (Manipal Assisted Reproduction Centre), the Department of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery has been a ray of hope for subfertile couples, offering a diverse range of treatment programs designed to facilitate assisted conception. Established in 1990, the department has garnered its reputation through the expertise of experienced doctors and scientists, many of whom have received specialized training abroad.

The department leads the way in reproductive medicine in India, marked by its continuous pursuit of pioneering technological improvements. This commitment to innovation has driven it to become one of the most advanced centers for infertility treatment in the country.

Key Treatment Programs Offered:

  1. Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI): A technique involving the placement of prepared sperm directly into the uterus during the woman’s ovulatory phase.
  2. Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): A highly specialized procedure addressing cases of low sperm count, where a single sperm is directly injected into an egg.
  3. In Vitro Fertilization with Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET): A comprehensive approach involving the fertilization of eggs outside the body, followed by the transfer of embryos into the uterus.
  4. Donor Eggs and Donor Sperm: Offering alternative reproductive options through the use of donated eggs or sperm, expanding the possibilities for conception.
  5. Laser Assisted Hatching: A cutting-edge technique enhancing the chances of successful embryo implantation by creating a small opening in the embryo’s outer layer.

A Decade of IVF Triumphs

In the field of fertility challenges, Dr. Pratap has embraced a determined perspective, expressing, “Looking at the problems of fertility I took up as a challenge to succeed.”

Dr. Pratap sheds light on the prevalent issue of premature ovarian insufficiency affecting young women, stating, “Lot of women were coming with premature ovarian insufficiency in young age and this was a challenging field for getting inspired to have pregnancy in those with low ovarian reserve.”

The journey began in 1999 with the birth of the center’s first IVF baby, marking the inception of a remarkable era. With dedication and expertise, Dr. Pratap has overseen the successful birth of more than 10,000 babies through In-vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques. Chief Embryologist Prof. Satish Kumar Adiga who also has been trained in advanced technology is the scientist for the techniques of IVF. He heads the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Embryology which is actively involved in training embryologists across the world.

Advancing Fertility Management

Dedicated to enhancing the management of subfertile couples, The Department of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery is actively engaged in research programs aimed at improving the quality of fertility care. Notably, this IVF center, affiliated with a university medical college, stands out as a hub for pioneering research in the field.

Dr. Pratap, at the lead of these efforts, emphasizes, “I have developed protocols for better outcome, and I have had very good cooperation from the Clinical Embryology Division.”

A significant stride in technology adoption includes the incorporation of regenerative medicine, specifically the use of Autologous Blood Cell Derivative (ABCD). Dr. Pratap notes the successful application of ABCD for endometrial improvement, particularly in women with thin endometrium. The positive response to ABCD is observed in terms of improved endometrial thickness and enhanced blood flow.

Elevating Patient Care

Kasturba Hospital has a state-of-the-art andrology laboratory, fully equipped for the thorough evaluation of male subfertility and the provision of semen banking services for both short-term and long-term storage. This facility plays a crucial role in addressing male fertility concerns with precision and care.

Another notable feature of the center is its embryology laboratory, characterized by modern amenities that include micromanipulation and laser hatching capabilities.

Ensuring the highest standards of care, the center adheres to meticulously crafted protocols to optimize patient outcomes. Dr. Pratap underscores the commitment to excellence, stating, “All protocols are made and followed, so that best of care is given.”

Dr. Pratap further acknowledges the hospital’s dedication to maintaining exemplary standards aligned with its mission and vision. “Kasturba Hospital has always maintained standards as per their mission and vision to satisfy patients with excellent care,” he notes.

Milestones in Reproductive Medicine

Dr. Pratap, with evident pride, recounts significant milestones in the history of Kasturba Hospital’s reproductive medicine department, stating, “Our 1st IVF baby was born in 1999, and the 1st Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) baby was born in 2000.” ICSI, a specialized procedure addressing very low sperm count in males, has been a key contributor to the success of assisted reproductive technologies at the center. The success achieved can be attributed to the dedicated efforts of the Embryologists, led by Professor Satish Kumar Adiga.

Beyond individual achievements, Dr. Pratap underscores the broader significance of being recognized as one of the most trusted IVF centers. He notes, “To be recognized as one of the most trusted IVF centres means a lot for the hospital, medical college, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education.” This recognition not only brings prestige to the institution but also holds great significance for the educational aspects, benefiting a multitude of students—undergraduates, postgraduates, and super-speciality senior residents pursuing M.Ch. These students stand to gain valuable insights and experiences, contributing to both their education and the service provided to the community.

Charting the Future of Fertility Care in India

As the landscape of fertility care evolves, the future of reproductive medicine in India is poised to witness significant advancements in two specialized domains: Onco-fertility and Stem Cell Therapies.

Onco-fertility, a pivotal aspect of the future, focuses on providing fertility preservation options for individuals facing cancer treatments. This specialized field addresses the unique reproductive challenges posed by cancer treatments, offering hope and options for individuals to build families post-treatment.

In collaboration with Onco-fertility, the trajectory of fertility care in India also points towards the integration of Stem Cell Therapies as regenerative methods. Stem cells hold immense potential for treating various reproductive issues and improving fertility outcomes. This innovative approach explores the regenerative capabilities of stem cells to enhance reproductive health and address a spectrum of fertility-related concerns.

The convergence of Onco-fertility and Stem Cell Therapies signifies a paradigm shift in fertility care, promising new avenues for patients in India.

As the field progresses, Kasturba Hospital is committed to staying on top of advancements, ensuring that patients receive the most comprehensive and advanced fertility care available.