In the contemporary world, infertility is a big issue. It is rising fast. According to a 1991 study of the WHO, 8-12% of couples had fertility problems. It rises to 15% as per the September 2020 WHO study. In the Indian context, infertility was in around 4-6% couples. Now, as per NFHS 2007 data, it is around 15%.
It means you are not alone when you look for infertility treatment in India. Around 28 million Indian couples of reproductive age face fertility problems. As per experts, STD (sexually transmitted diseases), toxins, issues with reproductive organs, parasitic diseases, infection, bad lifestyle choices, and infection cause infertility in both males and females.
Challenges need to be addressed around infertility in India
In India, there are several prevailing barriers and challenges to address infertility. According to medical sciences, infertility is a condition that prohibits couples from becoming parents of a child. It is caused by environmental and biological factors. However, most Indian societies relate it to personal failure. Wrong social attitudes such as making women solely responsible for conception and unwillingness to treat male factor issues add the burden.
And due to this, there is a barrier in talking about infertility openly with others or looking for fertility treatments to address the issue in males and females. Further, accessibility and affordability of infertility treatment in India is another challenge. Lack of quality facilities, no awareness, and lack of insurance coverage in remote areas make couples with infertility suffer a lot. Emotional feelings of infertility are more troublesome in comparison with other factors as couples take parenthood as life changing aspiration. Educating societies on infertility is the only way to facilitate couples to get the requisite treatment, support and care.
Addressing infertility and advancements in treatment
As the first step to normalise the conversation around infertility, there is a need to remove the misconception that states fertility treatment means IVF (in vitro fertilisation). Instead, the authorities and societies should shift the focus on the promotion of couples’ holistic fertility health. A multi-disciplinary approach including psychological, endocrinologist, counsellors, nutritionists and andrologists along with fertility experts can ease a couple’s parenthood journey. Further, it can enhance the outcomes of medical interventions.
In addition, there is a deed to integrate evidence-based practices, advanced research, and sophisticated technology with clinical expertise to produce personalised solutions to fertility problems of couples in comparison with one size fit answer to all queries/issues. In today’s world, there is a comprehensive array of treatment services for both male infertility and female infertility. It includes advanced genetic screening, laparoscopic gynaecological procedures, donor programs, etc. with ART solutions like IVF, ICSI, and IUI.
Technical advancements in medical sciences, especially reproductive health have enabled couples to delay their conception process as per their wish and bypass their issue, if they have, in becoming parents. In the current world, Indian women have options to preserve their fertility through egg freezing and get pregnant when they are ready to become a mother. IVF, ICSI, IUI, and donor programs empower couples to have a conception and enjoy parenthood as per their wish.
At the end, bringing sensitivity in support and care delivery is also a need. For a couple, fertility is an emotional journey. So, it is crucial to comprehend personal preferences, empower couples to make wise decisions, and respect their choices. The recent announcement of the ART Bill is a good step to define a framework for the regulation in reproductive health and treatment solutions. Due to a focus on the standardisation of clinical treatments and defining protocols, there will be an increase in safety of couples’ health while having fertility treatments.
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Infertility is a big issue among couples of reproductive health. With time, it is increasing. However, education on reproductive health and a multidisciplinary approach will help curb it and facilitate couples in their parenthood journey.