Selected news stories from the international press relating to Asian (In)Fertilities:
Infertility rises at alarming pace in India - Xinhua News
(16 July 2010)
MUMBAI -- Indian newspaper headlines frequently report about rising inflation, especially food inflation, and how it is affecting India's population. Health wise, the country is doing no better. As if rising rate of public health challenges such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease were not enough, statistics reveal more and more couples in India are finding it difficult to procreate.
Medical case studies, anecdotal evidence as well as the rising number of infertility clinics in urban areas of the country are pointing to the fact that infertility is becoming a health challenge in the country.
According to a report conducted by the International Institute of Population Sciences, infertility is growing at an alarming pace, especially in the cities.
Out of around 250 million individuals estimated to be attempting parenthood at any given time, 13 to 19 million couples are likely to be infertile.
Although the national census does not head count infertile couples, this study, which takes into account the national census reports of the past three decades, viz, 2001, 1991 and 1981, showed that infertility has risen by 50 percent in the country.
The report said that in India, 13 percent of ever-married women aged 15-49 years were childless in 1981 (rural 13.4 percent and urban 11.3 percent) which increased to 16 percent in 2001 (rural 15.6 percent and urban 16.1 percent). Over half of married women aged 15-19 years were childless in 1981, which increased to 70 percent in 2001.
Nearly 30 million couples in the country suffer from infertility, making the incidence rate 10 percent. Earlier childlessness in a couple used to be talked about in hushed tones, with the problem, without doubt, being attributed to the women.
Today, infertility is no longer recognized as only a female problem. In fact, the term infertility is a broad term, often loosely used. It actually refers to a range of disorders some of which affect the male, and some the female, and contribute to childlessness in a couple.
There is also something called unexplained infertility, where doctors fail to come up with a medical explanation for the couple' s inability to conceive.
Study reports suggested that male infertility is almost as high as female infertility. One in every five healthy young men between the age from 18 to 25 suffer from abnormal sperm count.
In every 100 couples, 40 percent of the males suffer from infertility compared to 50 percent women. In the remaining 5 percent, the causes are common to both men and women.
Some common causes of infertility in men are irregular sperm production, hampered sperm delivery due to either erectile dysfunction or early ejaculation, presence of medical conditions such as obesity that may hamper sperm production, certain infections such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), and lifestyle conditions such as diet imbalance, addiction to smoking or alcoholism, sedentary existence, or mental and emotional stress, all of which contribute to poor sperm count.
In women, hectic lifestyle and job stress contribute to conception problems. A very common cause is polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), a condition characterized by excess production of hormones and lack of ovulation.