IVF Babble India

Experts say that India needs to recognise infertility and pregnancy health as a priority

The statistics are shocking – at least one quarter of the women around the globe who are struggling with infertility live in India

Dr Nandita Palshetkar is the President of the Federation of Obstetric & Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), and she believes that this is a problem that needs to be talked about more often.

“Infertility has multiple causes, and studies suggest that advancing the age of motherhood is one of the key risk factors. However, there are other causes too, including increasing pollution, hormonal imbalances caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, menstrual hygiene, certain infections, lifestyle factors, socioeconomic status and occupational hazards.”

According to experts like Dr Palshetkar, infertility needs to be treated with more seriousness and catapulted to the top of health priorities

People who suffer with infertility face a number of severe mental health issues, as well as having to deal with devastating social implications.

She continues, “For many Indian couples, the inability to conceive a child can be devastating and negatively impact their relationship. For women in particular, cultural pressures can place emphasis on childbearing and infertility can invite social stigma, even though infertility can be caused by both the males and females, because fertility naturally declines as men and women age.”

She recommends that couples should think about trying to start their families no later than 30 years old, as infertility becomes more prevalent with age

“Where circumstances permit, women who desire to bear children should start trying to conceive by the age of 30. It is also important to get tested for fertility regularly to ensure that couples can plan childbearing in an informed manner. It is time to recognize infertility and pregnancy health as a health priority.”

Dr Palshetkar is not alone. Many experts across India believe that infertility is a problem that can hide in plain sight

Dr. Ameet Patki is the Medical Director of Mumbai’s Fertility Associates Centre for Assisted Reproduction. He states, “There is some social stigma attached to infertility and various myths regarding fertility treatments. However, we are seeing increasing awareness levels amongst the general population, which is crucial. Further, with the addition of fertility clinics even in tier 2 and 3 cities, accessibility to treatment has also increased.”

Sometimes, couples just need a little bit of medical intervention to conceive

“At times, even basic or minimal treatment can work. More focused and critical treatment is needed for around 30 percent of infertile couples. Increasing awareness, women empowerment and increasing incidence of infertility in general have made couples approach fertility clinics. We must have a robust system in place which ensures that along with providing awareness at the right time, we also try to remove the social stigma around fertility treatments.”

Many couples across the country are not aware of the fertility treatment options that are out there

Some people erroneously believe old wives’ tales that children born through IVF suffer high rates of birth defects, or that IVF only works for young couples. Dr. Patki stresses the importance of ridding the country of these myths so that they can make informed decisions about growing their families.

What do you think about the perception of infertility in India? Do you think people have a good grasp on fertility issues, or do you feel it needs to be discussed much more and myths and taboos broken? We would love to hear your thoughts at info@ivfbabbleindia.com

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