Thiruvananthapuram: State-owned S.A.T. Hospital here created a record of sorts when it became the first government sector hospital in south India to have test tube babies.
S.A.T. Hospital is the women's and children's wing of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital.
Head of the fertility clinic Sheela Balakrishnan told reporters the couple who underwent IVF treatment became proud parents of twins, a boy and a girl, at 5.30 a.m. Friday.
"We thus became the fifth government hospital in the country and the first one in south India to be successful. We are expecting another test tube baby next week and then there are five more in various stages," said Balakrishnan.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body.
IVF is a major treatment for infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed.
The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovulatory process, removing ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium in a laboratory.
The fertilised egg (zygote) cultured for two-six days in a growth medium and is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.
Balakrishnan went on to add that since this form of medical procedure is an expensive one, "we operate on a no-profit no-loss basis and the entire cost for couples come to around Rs.1 lakh".
In the private sector, the total expense for IVF treatment can touch up to Rs.10 lakh.
The IVF third stage clinic has been in operation for nearly two years.