Infertility: Is the time ticking?

Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples. It is growing to be one of the major problems faced by youth today. In India, according to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, infertility affects about 10 to 14 percent of Indian population; mostly concentrated in its urban centres where one out of six couples is actively impacted. This has lead to what one can only call a boon of best IVF centres all across India, especially in cities like Chennai.

Infertility Is the time ticking
Infertility Is the time ticking

Declining fertility rates all over the world are mostly attributed to changing lifestyle and exposure to heavy stress. With more focus on their, couples these days plan to have a family only a little bit later in their life. But human biology doesn’t agree to it. Female fertility starts to decline when a woman is in her early 30s, and the decline speeds up after the age of 35. After 40, the chances of getting pregnant each month are down to five percent, thanks to the impending menopause. Even with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), the biological clock plays a major role in the chance for conception. Some women already have ovulation disorders, uterine and cervical abnormalities, fallopian tube damage, Syndromes like PCOS etc., which contribute to infertility.

This doesn’t mean men are not affected by infertility.  They have their own set of problems: abnormal sperm production or function; problems with the delivery of sperm; exposure to alcohol, steroids and other drugs; treatment for other diseases etc.

Consult a doctor if you are a woman over 35, been trying to conceive for at least 6 months with no result; you are over 40; your periods have been irregular; you have been diagnosed with PCOD, endometriosis etc.; had multiple miscarriages. For men, the warning signs include low sperm count, history of prostate and testicular problems and history of infertility in their family. Remember, in one-third of the cases, both partners have fertility problems that lead to problems with conceiving. So, disassociate yourself from the societal stigma and look for treatment.

Now, infertility treatment has crossed leaps and bounds in the last few decades. While there are several techniques available, two of the most used treatments are Artificial insemination and IVF. Before undergoing these procedures, the couple has to go through several physical examinations and tests to find out the cause of infertility. After such tests, suitable treatments are suggested. For some people, just altering their lifestyle or taking some medications seems adequate.

In certain couples, ART seems necessary, most common of which is IVF. When opting for IVF, it is important to do our research and choose a fertility clinic that is empathic to our necessities. The state of Tamil Nadu welcomes people from all over the country with kind hearts to get help for fertility related issues. Chennai, being one of the cities that have boasted huge advancement in the medical field, has some of the best IVF centres in the country.

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