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Why infertility is on rise: The silent truth

Infertility is a condition that affects one out of eight couples and yet remains as one of the most neglected health issues, given the apprehensions and social stigma surrounding it. In India itself, about 27.5 million couples are recorded to suffer from infertility.

Inability to conceive despite trying for months can cause emotional and psychological stress to couples who have been trying to grow their family. In the Indian society setup where hearing the ‘good news’ is common, it distresses the couples even further and leaves them with low self esteem.

Conflicts, over thinking and dealing with mental stress is a part of the journey one faces while coping with their condition. The stigma surrounding infertility makes it even more difficult for the couples to open up and share their problems.

India bears cases and stories of grief in millions and has seen a steep rise in the recent years. Following are some causes, both in males and females that can attribute to such a spike in the numbers:

Causes of male infertility:

1: Abnormal sperm production

Can be caused due to genetic effects, certain health issues such as diabetes, infections such gonorrhea, HIV, mumps etc.

2: Problems with sperm delivery

Can be caused due to sexual issues, certain genetic diseases, structural issues or injury to reproductive organs.

3: Lifestyle factors

Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, steroid use, exposure to harmful environmental factors such as radiation and chemicals can also alter the sperm production.

Causes of female infertility:

1: Endometriosis:

Function of the ovaries may be affected due to endometriosis, caused due to growth of endometrial tissues outside the uterus.

2: Cervical or uterine abnormalities:

Certain abnormalities with the cervix, presence of polyps or tumors in the uterus which can block the fallopian tubes may cause infertility.

3: Problems in ovulation:

Hormonal issues such as PCOS, hyperprolactinemia (excess production of prolactin), hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may lead to infertility.

4: Blocked fallopian tube:

Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, hence causing infertility.

5: Unhealthy lifestyle:

Age, smoking, being overweight or underweight are known to hinder fertility. Changes in lifestyle choices are majorly contributing to the alarming rates of infertility in India. Today, a majority of women tend to delay their pregnancy owing to their career choices as they seek financial and career stability as a prerequisite to growing their family. It is important for couples to understand that age has a direct impact on the ovarian reserves, and family planning must go hand in hand with career decisions.

However, diagnosis of infertility, as distressing as it may sound, does not have to put an end to their dreams of becoming parents. Couples who want to conceive but are unable to should seek advice from fertility centers and counselors. Every event of infertility is different from one another, and it is important to diagnose the exact underlying cause and opt for the treatment option that suits them the best.

With the right expertise and technological advancements, couples can experience the joy of parenthood.

References: 1: 2:

Disclaimer: Indian Health Bureau does not claim any responsibility for the information contained in this article. The information may not hold good for everyone. The post is for general awareness only and should not be construed as a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Please consult your doctor to know what is good for you.



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