Reports suggest infertility has been plaguing young couples in India more than we may realise.
According to data provided by the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, infertility is seen to affect about 10 to 14 percent of the Indian population. The rate of infertility seems to be higher among the urban population, with one out of six couples experiencing the problem, the report adds.
To add to this, a latest survey by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows that a majority of government health centres are “ill equipped” to treat the problem of infertility among couples.
Several factors are responsible for the concerning rate of infertility among the young couples in India. These include lifestyle choices such as consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or the problem of sexually transmitted diseases.
According to a 2015 Ernst and Young report, 27.5 million couples, who are actively trying to conceive, suffer from infertility in India.
While the female factor accounts for about 40-50% of cases, the male factor is close behind at 30-40%.
The report also says that while there is a rise in the proportion of women who are in the reproductive age of 20-44 years (14% increase estimated between 2010 to 2020), the increase is slanting towards those aged between 30-44 years (20% increase estimated between 2010 to 2020), who typically display lower fertility rates.
Factors Responsible For Infertility?
The top factors responsible for the rise of infertility among couples in India are:
- PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Endometrial Tuberculosis
- Tobacco Use
- Alcohol consumption
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Ill-Equipped Medical Facilities
A survey by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) states that most of India’s government health centres are “ill-equipped” to deal with the problem of infertility among couples.
The survey was conducted among 12 district hospitals, 24 community health centers , 48 primary health centers, and 48 sub-centers was conducted using qualitative and quantitative methods. It also interviewed 26 gynecologists; 91 medical officers; 91 auxiliary nurse midwife; 67 laboratory technicians; and 84 accredited social health activist workers.
It found that the majority of the community health centres and primary health centres had “inadequate physical and diagnostic facilities” to deal with infertility. It also stated that advanced laboratory services were available in less than 42% at district hospitals and 8% at community health centres.