The statistic provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), stating that 1 in 6 couples worldwide battle infertility, highlights the widespread nature of this health issue as infertility in men or women is a complex and emotionally challenging condition that can have profound effects on individuals and their relationships. It is crucial to recognise that infertility is not just a medical concern but also a deeply personal and often stigmatised experience.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Nidhi Singh, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility East in Patna, shared, “About 1 in 6 couples worldwide experience infertility, which is a very personal and difficult journey that can have a substantial emotional, physical, and psychological impact. While individual and couple-specific causes of infertility might differ widely, several factors frequently play a role in this pervasive problem. To offer appropriate support and therapy, it is essential for both those who are afflicted and the medical community to comprehend these aspects. Age is one of the major causes of infertility. Inadvertently raising their chance of having fertility issues, individuals and couples delay having children for a variety of reasons, including pursuing school, building jobs, or financial considerations. Both men and women are impacted by the age-related natural loss in reproductive ability, but women are more severely affected. Over time, eggs lose both quantity and quality, making it harder to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. The complex balancing act between individual desires and the biological reality of reproduction is poignantly brought home by age-related infertility.”
Highlighting hormonal abnormalities as another major cause of infertility, she said, “The regulation of reproductive processes, such as ovulation, sperm generation, and the preservation of a healthy pregnancy, is greatly influenced by hormones. Infertility can arise from any alteration in the delicate hormonal balance. Thyroid diseases, pituitary gland abnormalities, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are a few conditions that can all have an impact on fertility by preventing the release of eggs or altering the menstrual cycle. Male fertility can be impacted by hormonal imbalances because they can influence sperm motility and production. It’s crucial to recognise and treat these hormonal imbalances to diagnose and treat infertility. Additionally, structural flaws in the reproductive system might cause infertility. Endometriosis, fibroids, and obstructed fallopian tubes are examples of disorders that can affect a woman’s ability to conceive or implant a fertilized egg, respectively. Sperm production or ejaculation in men may be hampered by structural problems with the testes, such as varicoceles or blockages in the vas deferens. To solve these structural difficulties, surgical procedures like surgery or assisted reproductive technologies can be necessary.”
Stating that infertility can also be caused by genetic reasons, Dr Nidhi Singh said, “Indirectly affecting fertility or raising the risk of pregnancy difficulties, certain hereditary disorders can have an impact on reproductive health. For instance, both male and female fertility can be impacted by chromosomal disorders like Turner syndrome or Klinefelter syndrome. Furthermore, certain gene abnormalities can be a factor in the development of diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome or early ovarian failure. Individuals and couples can understand their reproductive risks and make educated decisions with the support of genetic testing and counselling. Certain lifestyles have become an important cause of infertility. Fertility may be impacted by contemporary lives marked by high-stress levels, sedentary habits, poor diet and contact with environmental contaminants. Stress can alter hormone levels and prevent ovulation, and unhealthful eating patterns can result in obesity or nutritional deficiencies that have an impact on reproductive health. Fertility can also suffer from environmental causes like exposure to pollution, toxins, or pesticides. The results of fertility treatments can be enhanced by encouraging a healthy lifestyle that includes stress reduction, regular exercise, a balanced diet and reduced exposure to contaminants.”
She asserted, “A large percentage of couples experience infertility, and treating this pervasive problem requires knowledge of the variables that cause it. The prevalence of infertility is influenced by a variety of factors, including age, hormone imbalances, structural abnormalities, genetics, and way of life decisions. We can endeavour to offer sympathetic support to couples dealing with infertility while working for improved reproductive healthcare for all by increasing awareness, fostering education, and funding research and treatment choices.”
Dr R Leela, Consultant – Infertility Specialist at Kamineni Fertility in Hyderabad, concluded, “As fertility specialists, our goal is to provide compassionate care and evidence-based solutions to help couples navigate their fertility journey. We understand the importance of addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of infertility, offering a range of diagnostic tests and advanced treatments to maximise the chances of successful conception. Furthermore, the WHO’s report underscores the need for greater awareness, education, and support surrounding infertility. Healthcare providers, policymakers, and society as a whole need to recognize the significance of infertility and work together to improve access to fertility services, reduce stigma, and provide comprehensive support for couples facing these challenges. By acknowledging the global scale of infertility and taking proactive steps to address it, we can contribute to the well-being and happiness of millions of individuals and families worldwide.”
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com